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Successful testing in the Alps

It was the beginning of March 2014 when we set off for a small village in the French Alps called Les Contamines Montjoie to undertake rigorous testing of our wristbands and credit cards.  Anyone involved in a sporting activity, especially those involving winter sports, may have a need to provide their medical information in a hurry and sometimes in an environment that is not very hospitable.  Skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiers and extreme sports people just love getting out into the countryside to do their thing but how would tap2tag medical devices help them?

The first job was to establish whether there was sufficient 3G coverage across the pistes.  The mountains around Les Contamines Montjoie cover a vast amount of on and off-piste skiing.  We skied across most of the available ski slopes in the region and found that 3G was available virtually everywhere, even at the top of the mountains.  Free Wi-Fi was also available in a number of the bars and restaurants on the slopes but our main concern was mobile internet availability.  So, after 4 days of intensive skiing, we got our first tick in the box.  There is very good coverage for 3G internet services across the Les Contamines mountain ranges.  From our research it appears that the Alps have at least 90% coverage for 3G covering France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria and this continues to improve.  Not bad considering there are so many tall things in the way called MOUNTAINS!

Our final job was to check whether the chips themselves could deal with the adverse temperature changes as well as the altitude.  Les Contamines Montjoie is about 1,200m above sea level so it seemed right that we should test the bands in the local bars and restaurants.  No problem.  Each tap2tag device worked first time and again with an excellent 3G signal.  It was time to push the altitude up and the temperature down.  Throughout the week we tested the wristbands and credit cards all over the mountain ranges and the devices never failed to work.  Temperatures fell as low as -10C as we pushed our way up to the highest point on the range at over 2,300m.  Tap and success!  All was working well.

But we were still not happy.  A day trip to Chamonix and a long cable ride to the top of Mont Blanc, well Aiguille du Midi to be precise.  Sitting at 3,842m above sea level this is one of the highest accessible points in the whole of Europe.  So did the devices work?  Absolutely.  And the 3G coverage was incredibly good with full bars showing on our mobile phones.  It is amazing to sit on the top of Europe, watching light aircraft flying under our viewpoint, and getting a successful test of the tap2tag wristbands and credit cards.  We could say we felt on top of the world but that would mean another trip to the Himalayas and would be too cheesy.

So if you are doing any winter sports in Europe you can be rest assured that our tap2tag devices will work.  The 3G coverage is excellent albeit there may be a few blind spots and the devices themselves performed exceptionally well.

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