Why Bother With Wi-Fi When CDMA Can Do?

A bit more intelligent than the standard “WiFi vs. cellular” arguments that the press loves so much, but still missing the point is David Berlind’s latest column wondering if he can ditch WiFi altogether and live entirely with a 1x network. This is, of course, one of the few articles (not written by Qualcomm) that supports the idea of using cellular (even at 2.5G) over WiFi. However, the point isn’t WiFi vs. cellular, but that the two technologies offer different benefits for different users at different times. All Berlind is really saying is that for his specific uses, a 1x CDMA network is better, since it’s fast enough to do what he needs, and gives him wider access. Good for him. That doesn’t mean CDMA is going to win out and WiFi is going nowhere. It just highlights that, right now, the two technologies have different uses. More importantly, he points out that, eventually, the issue is going to come down to pricing. So far, most pricing models (for both technologies) are a mess, and actively discourage adoption. Over time (hopefully) that will change. Berlind also goes into the debate over whether or not EV-DO will act as a WiFi killer, which always seems like a premature debate to me. EV-DO is an interesting technology, but unless you live in a very few areas, it’s simply not available. By the time it is available, the WiFi world may have changed as well. Trying to predict the success of EV-DO, while assuming WiFi stays static doesn’t seem very useful.

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