Confusion All Around In The Wireless Space

from the whose-fault-is-that? dept

It looks like quite the bizarre study came out today concerning wireless technologies. The first finding is that most users don’t know the difference between various wireless technologies, like 3G, GPRS and WiFi. The article seems to be suggesting that this is a bad thing — but it’s not clear why users should need to know the difference. They just want to be able to connect — easily, cheaply and at a good speed. The next part of the study seems quite odd. It claims that more people access WiFi at public hotspots than at home. It would be interesting to see the actual data behind this (including how the question was actually phrased and how the people were selected for this survey), because this seems quite unlikely for a variety of reasons. It still seems like the majority of WiFi usage is within the home where people have set up access points to make it easier for home networking, rather than out and about. In fact, it seems like most users who don’t have home WiFi barely seem to realize WiFi is available elsewhere.

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Comments on “Confusion All Around In The Wireless Space”

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AC says:


Defiantly, most homes with ‘broadband’ have wireless, especially now that the major ISPs are giving out wireless routers. Just searching my neighborhood I find 6 wireless routers. 4 of which I can connect without a key. Give me a day with a packet snooper and I’ll be able to get the encrypted keys and connect to the other two.

Kenneth says:

Re: Re: Subject

I think it fair to say that with regard to wireless technology and broadband overall that Europe has a head start on the US in its implementation of the aforementioned Wi-Fi & broadband services. The US seems to be lacking the enthusiasm with which the Europeans have embraced the Wi-Fi phenomenon.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Subject

I think it fair to say that with regard to wireless technology and broadband overall that Europe has a head start on the US in its implementation of the aforementioned Wi-Fi & broadband services. The US seems to be lacking the enthusiasm with which the Europeans have embraced the Wi-Fi phenomenon.

Really? In almost everything I’ve seen the opposite has been true. WiFi adoption in the US has been much greater than in Europe — especially when talking about the hotspot market where the charges were ridiculously high.

Mousky (user link) says:

Mike, Mike, Mike.

Come on Mike, I expect better from you. First, it was a survey not a study.

Second, the survey never claimed that “more people access WiFi at public hotspots than at home”. It stated that of those surveyed, “most users of Wi-Fi use it at public hotspots, with wireline broadband connections still the most popular connection at home”.

Third, and most importantly, the survey was conducted by a developer of “converged mobile solutions for communications service providers” and guess what his conclusion was: “This converged ‘wireless broadband’ market is really ramping up”. No bias in this survey, whatsoever.

Rafael Junquera (user link) says:

It is important to know the basics

It is true that users want a good service independently of the technology. But it is also tru that they speculate about the technology they use and fill the gaps making up those areas they do not know anything about. In Latin America for example users are screaming for GSM in markets where there is a CDMA dominance like in Venezuela. If you visit blogs from Venezuela you will see that people are demanding GSM saying they want the latest in wireless technology and one carrier has already even launched EV-DO. Users in Latin America have this perception and I am sure in the US users also discuss the technology they use and probably have arguments about them with little knowledge of what they are saying. Therefore, educating users about services and a little bit about the technology underneath won’t hurt.

GTP Dave (user link) says:

RE: Confusion All Around In The Wireless Space

You would be surprised the lack of knowledge when it comes to the ins and outs of internet connection at home and in the workplace.
Wireless connections today has freed us from the wires for sure, but as we lost the wires most lost their security along with it.
Their is an abundance of information out there on wireless connections, yet the general public is mostly to lazy to read up on it or stay configured and updated.
My office sits directly across from a Starbucks cafe… and I can assure you for sure… the coffee I drink is “Black”

baxter says:

Confusion All Around In The Wireless Space article

laptops are the most common way people connect to wireless networks, and it said that they surveyed business men. that tells me that these guys are on the move a lot, and know where the hot spots are. i would guess that have of them don’t have a family, or at least no kids, and about a third have little to no home life being always on the go. that would mean that their data is a little weighted in favor of public hotspots, and wifi.
3g is mainly used in cell phones and pdas, am i right?? the consumer group for these devices isn’t as large as laptops yet. as the population has a need for smaller, faster, easier technology you will see this become more of a common service and tied into phone packages. this might be the case in London where the study was taken, but i don’t see it yet here in the states.
GPRS is just a different form of 3g, and i think it is used a lot for music, like xm radio, right?? i personally would like to see this technology become really cheat and have good coverage world-wide. to be able to take your little xm walk man, with your ear buds walking around the mall or at work or at the park or wherever, and listen to any station that is broadcasted would be great. i personally would like to see these devices and services be priced around $60-90 and $25-75/month respectively. this probably won’t come anytime soon, but it would be nice.

Mousky (user link) says:

Re: Re: No Subject Given

I wasn’t talking sh*t. Based on Mike’s knowledge, experience and posts on other topics, I found this particular story to be sub-par. For the most part, I find many of Mike’s stories to be informative, especially his ongoing focus on intellectual property rights. A number of people continue to rag on him about this focus, but it is an important issue that will affect invention and innovation in the technology sector.

But just because I agree with him on that topic (and others) does not mean that I will not voice my opinion when I disagree with Mike. I always figured that an open discussion is better than a closed one-sided discussion. Besides, I was not aware that users are not allowed to post comments critical of the story 😉

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