Will Wi-Fi Revolutionize The Phone?

Fortune columnist David Kirkpatrick has written an article which is really just repeating a conversation with (Techdirt Wireless reader) Scott Rafer. He does a great job summarizing Rafer’s opinions about how WiFi will revolutionize the phone business, and how many carriers don’t see it coming. I tend to agree that the carriers don’t understand WiFi – but it appears that a few are beginning to realize what’s happening, and are positioning themselves to respond. Whether or not they can respond effectively, is an entirely different question. Also, while I’m a huge believer in WiFi, and can’t wait until I get my hands on a WiFi phone, I’m not convinced of where the “mobile” opportunity is with WiFi phones. Without many things changing, it simply does not become an effective mobile phone replacement. While hotspot connections are good if you need high bandwidth for things like surfing the web, ubiquity is important for things like spur-of-the-moment communication. I’m willing to go in search of a hotspot so I can sit for half an hour and surf the web. I’m not so interested in doing that to make a phone call.

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