Discussion: Cellular data use feedback

For @orionwifi Beta participants who don’t yet have access to an Orion WiFi site, we’d like to think about how you use data when you’re not at home or at work.

Let us know about places you visited recently that did not have free WiFi and how long you were there. You do not have to name the place or provide location specifics, but can tell us in general terms like:

  • My vet’s office - 1 hour
  • Standing in line at my polling location - 1 hour
  • Shopping at the pet supply store - 30 minutes
  • Waiting to pick my kids up from school - 30 minutes

Did you use data while you were there? Would you have used your phone differently if WiFi had been available?


One place that I would love to have wi-fi at would be Costco. I often like to look up price comparisons when I’m there, and signal strength is often not good there. Grocery stores are also a good place.


I am not close to a orionwifi site. I am on cellar at the VA (8 hours) where I work, At Costco (4 hours) where I also work. When I am fishing at a local lake (2 hours). So since I am on cellular I only check Email. If I had WIFI I would be surfing the web, streaming music or video. Why not, it would be free. If I am on cellular, my gigabyte plan would be out of data in no time.

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Meijer/Kroger/Walmart - 1 to 2 hours. If I could be on reliable WiFi I would do video calls with the wife to clarify her vague shopping list requests

Downtown Rochester Michigan\Rochester Municipal Park - 1-2 hours per week

Post office - 30 minutes per week

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I spent a half hour or so sitting around when I had an eye appointment this morning (I don’t live anywhere near an orion site). As per usual, I used little or no cell data. Most of the time when I’m out of range of wifi I read articles I’ve downloaded to instapaper (i’ve used Pocket before, but I’ve since returned to Instapaper).

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I’m surprised these stores don’t have WiFi. My local Walmart has had good WiFi for several years now.

REALLY? A video call as you wander the aisles of the grocery store? Texting pictures wouldn’t do? Or… maybe, let her do the grocery shopping? :smiling_imp: (See Southpaw duck and run!) (Disclaimer: Mr. Southpaw has been doing much of the grocery shopping lately because I seem to live on the “high” end of the COVID anxiety scale.)

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Vet’s office.


Some local eateries and adult-beverage locations.

Some big-box stores/ superstores.

Other retail shops.

Local parks.

Downtown areas, walking around.

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Really surprised to see Costco listed as a place that doesn’t have WiFi! I have a membership at a different wholesale club (BJs) and do have WiFi. It requires signing in with your membership number, but once you’ve done that it remembers you for subsequent trips.

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Used data inside my town’s HS today. Comcast has flooded the metro area with wifi hotspots, so I’m used to finding free wifi when I’m out and about. I am not a heavy data user, so I typically use wifi for what I hope is better performance vs cell. Of course, that depends where I’m at!

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Costco indeed does not have WiFi. Big disappointment for an otherwise superior shopping experience.


I don’t use cell data. Every once in a while when we are on a road trip we will buy cell data for when we are on the road.

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I haven’t really been anywhere lately that I would use WiFi except the grocery store. If they had better WiFi it would definitely help when I need to look something up.

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Spent time in a shopping center (outdoor) and even though there were several internets supposedly available, they weren’t. I spent three hours there (one eating at a Panera with free internet), one hour outside without internet except for Reputlic because I got there too early (the clocks that I was looking at were car and battery operated so still on EDT, ugh) other internets had to be signed in which wasn’t convenient while walking around.

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I think Meijer does, I’m not sure about Walmart.

I’m a certain level of helpless where my wife needs video in order to guide me to the correct item. :slight_smile:

It was nice to see you on the webinar! You’re a celebrity around here!

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I Don’t think there are any Bj’s in Arizona. Walmart has wifi but I haven’t tried Sam’s club yet. Also at Costco, since it is a mostly metal building, Cellular reception it terrible.

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Almost every store I visit regularly except for Costco has WiFi. Some just make it harder to access it. I use most of my data while driving for work. Using GPS and chatting with friends. It would be nice to have Orion at my local university, UCF, so we have good service while tailgating for football games, or there for other reasons.

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I also am not anywhere close to an Orion site. I generally use data most when I’m traveling, needing directions, checking email, looking at the news (eg, bored): airports, cars, rest areas, restaurants. These are the only months when I receive a warning from Republic that I’m running out of data. Otherwise, doctor and dentist waiting rooms.

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I do not live anywhere close to the only Orion location in my region and will probably never have the occasion to go there. I recently traveled to our family’s vacation home where I used my phone’s GPS several times. I am currently unemployed due to COVID so I’m spending lots of time at home using my home WIFI. I had a doctor’s appointment and while waiting (for about 30 minutes) checked my email. I use data for email and social media checks while waiting to pick up my daughter from work every day. I hope that you can add some Orion sites to suburban Philadelphia soon.

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I was a poll worker at a local community college. During lunch break there was free wifi available, but it was so slow, I disconnected and used cellular data. When I am on cellular data, I don’t tend to stay online as much as I normally would. Definitely don’t want to wast data watching ads.

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