Will The WiFi Bubble Hypesters Kill WiFi?

Yet another article of someone missing the point about WiFi hype. First off, I agree that there’s too much hype around WiFi, but this article gets the reasons all wrong. There is too much hype around the idea of commercial WiFi hotspots taking over the world, but that doesn’t mean that there isn’t tremendous potential for WiFi hotspots. Understanding that distinction makes a huge difference. The argument rambles on, going off into bizarre territory talking about how some people don’t even like the internet at all, so wireless must be doomed to failure (did I miss a step in there?). As supporting material, the reporter quotes people from Qualcomm. Qualcomm?!? If ever there were a biased party in this matter, it’s Qualcomm – who is selling the technology to be used in 3G networks – and who are scared to death of WiFi hurting that market. All they do is complain that there’s no business model for WiFi. Sure, there’s no direct business model yet. But, that doesn’t mean there aren’t business models that involve WiFi and that will lead to much more widespread WiFi coverage. And, as they complain that it’s too expensive to roll out WiFi, they’re missing the point: since anyone can roll out their own WiFi, it doesn’t matter that it’s too expensive to roll out large scale offerings. People are filling in the holes on an ad hoc basis – distributing the costs. Furthermore, for what people use WiFi for, the lack of coverage everywhere isn’t that big of a deal. It’s not designed to be used by someone in a car, where roaming is an issue. Sure, some people would like that, but for most people, the ability to find a hotspot nearby, sit down, and use the internet for a little while is what’s so special about it.

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