Talks Weigh Big Project on Wireless Internet Link

The NY Times, in their registration required way, have an article saying that a number of large tech companies are discussing plans to create a new company that will build a nationwide WiFi service. Some of the companies involved include Intel, AT&T Wireless, Verizon and IBM. They say that their project would be significantly more ambitious than startups like Boingo and Joltage, and that it would include building WiFi coverage in many areas – and also infrastructure for tying the big wireless carriers into the system as well. It’s an interesting idea – one that many smaller startups have failed at. It’ll be interesting to see if tackling it on a much grander scale means they can do it successfully – or if they’ll just be creating much grander losses. Since it sounds like Intel is leading the charge, maybe this is what Intel’s big WiFi related announcement is, which seems significantly bigger than the guesses taken in the original post.Update: Also check out this story about IBM’s new wireless gateway that allows handoffs between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. That could help get mobile carriers involved in the consortium.

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