Analysts Predict Wireless Hot-Spot Crash
It certainly doesn’t take that much insight to predict that the current crop of commercial WiFi hotspot providers are going to face some difficulties moving forward as they realize they’re competing against free offerings. Anyone could have predicted that, and Forrester makes themselves out to be “visionary” for realizing this obvious trend. What would have been more interesting would be some suggestions on how to avoid letting this happen. I think that with some creative business models (i.e., not charging exorbitant direct rates for usage and looking for additional benefits such as more customers and improved operational efficiencies for employees) commercial WiFi can have a strong payback. Instead, Forrester bizarrely throws their weight behind Bluetooth as the WiFi killer. They actually think that widespread “Bluetooth hotspots” will kill WiFi. This is the point where you have to wonder what they’re thinking. I thought the whole “Bluetooth vs. WiFi” thing had died out. Also, they don’t seem to realize that Bluetooth and WiFi are designed for very different purposes – and the big “cost” they associate with WiFi (the backhaul) doesn’t change at all in dealing with Bluetooth. You still need to connect to the internet. Except that with Bluetooth, you’re doing it in a way that isn’t useful for a standard internet laptop connection.