Before There Was Wi-Fi

The BBC looks at the Wi-Fi craze and is reminded of a now defunct hotspot voice service called Rabbit. Rabbit along with a few other licensees in the UK operated wireless voice networks that worked within 100 meters of hotspots. The hotspots were deployed at public venues like train stations. Eventually these services lost out to celluar services which allowed much broader access to services. Will the same happen to Wi-Fi as 2.5/3G services roll out? Probably not. First, the two technoligies are complimentry. And second, Wi-Fi has a grass roots angle that Rabbit never did. Hybrid Wi-Fi/cellular access business will target business users, while a broader equipment market will exist for home and community networks.

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