3G and Wi-Fi: Will they Ever Get Together?

The debate over whether or not 3G and WiFi compete has certainly become very tired. Now, suddenly, people are realizing that the two technologies could be complementary, and are wondering what it would take to get the two to work together. From the technology standpoint, it’s clearly doable (and there have been some early products that work on both). However, the bigger issue is about the business model. If you have various different providers, how does the billing work? And, if everyone needs to get paid, is it going to price itself beyond what any normal end user would pay? Clearly, companies like T-Mobile and Sprint PCS have made it clear that they see huge potential in combining WiFi with their 3G offerings, but at this point, it seems that they’re just “experimenting” to figure out what the model really will be.

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