Carriers Looking At WiFi As Alternative To 3G
from the good-for-them dept
We discussed this briefly in our Mobile Partnerships Report (free download here), and it’s a really interesting concept. The various wireless carriers throughout the U.S. have spent a lot on spectrum and infrastructure to move towards a “3G” solution for wireless data – while 802.11b has snuck in under their noses. 802.11b works now and is significantly cheaper and faster than any potential 3G solution. Obviously, it was designed for different things, so there would still need to be a lot of work done to make the two systems comparable. However, (especially with VoiceStream’s attempted purchase of MobileStar), other wireless carriers are suddenly putting a lot more thought into a WiFi solution. It makes a lot of sense to offer some sort of hybrid, that will jump onto an 802.11b (and eventually .11a) network when you’re in range, and then switch to a 3G solution when you’re not covered by a WiFi “hotspot”. Now, let’s see if they can do it.