Wireless

by Mike Masnick




Verizon Killing Successful WiFi Program

from the that's-odd... dept

Mixed in with various announcements from Verizon today was the little noticed news that they're going to phase out their WiFi offering in New York City in favor of increasing the 3G EV-DO wireless broadband offering from Verizon Wireless. This doesn't make very much sense at all. The two services don't really compete. The WiFi was offered free to subscribers of Verizon DSL as a way to take that connection around the city with them -- and it had been described as a success in that it reduced churn more than enough to pay for the program. EV-DO is a useful offering, but it still costs quite a bit, and isn't suitable as a DSL replacement. It sounds like the decision to do this was done from the incorrect belief that WiFi somehow competes with EV-DO when it really doesn't in most cases.

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  • identicon
    Permanent4, 28 Apr 2005 @ 7:28am

    How are they NOT competing?

    Ummmmm... EVDO gets 300-500 Kbps downstream and about 128 Kbps upstream, and it has the same range as a cellular phone. That's practically DSL speed from anywhere, and Rev.A would be even faster.

    How does something like that *not* compete with Wi-Fi? Isn't EVDO Verizon's primary motivation for fighting muni Wi-Fi in the first place?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      cdixon, 28 Apr 2005 @ 7:48am

      Re: How are they NOT competing?

      I really don't understand why people are so in favor of Wifi. Have you actually tried EVDO from Verizon? I have a their EVDO card and live in NY. It is awesome. It is so good I would get rid of my DSL at home if I lived alone. I use it on the train from NY to Boston all the time and lose reception only for a few minutes the whole ride. I use the thing everywhere and it bascially always works. Wifi in public places is a giant pain. You have to find them and connect to them etc. Many of them such as in the airports try to charge you $10 per session. EVDO (and FLASH OFDM etc) is a far better technology for roaming. If you want the government to subsidize wireless I'm fine with that, but they should be supporting the right technology for the right job. Wifi is for in the home or office and that's it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 28 Apr 2005 @ 12:08pm

      Re: How are they NOT competing?

      The problem with EV-DO is that it just doesn't have the capacity to handle people doing that much traffic through it -- which is why it's so expensive. They're simply not set up to have it used that widely. That's why they're also threatening to block applications like VoIP and BitTorrent in the terms of service -- because they know it will wipe out their capacity.

      *That's* why it's not a DSL replacement, and won't be for some time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Chomper, 28 Apr 2005 @ 8:44am

    No Subject Given

    You guys are MISSING THE POINT!

    If you had Verizon DSL at home, the Wi-Fi offered in the city was a nice perk if you didn't want to pay the obscene prices of EV-DO.

    You forget the motivation for things like Wi-Fi, it's free. EV-DO, even if it THEORETICALLY better stills cost a bundle more.

    Verizon is being greedy as usual.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Permanent4, 28 Apr 2005 @ 10:30am

      Re: MISSING THE POINT!

      You forget the motivation for things like Wi-Fi, it's free. EV-DO, even if it THEORETICALLY better stills cost a bundle more.

      Actually you just proved my point, which is that EVDO is Verizon's primary motivation for trying to stifle muni Wi-Fi projects. After all, if there's free/cheap Wi-Fi in the air, people won't be so inclined to pay Verizon so much for EVDO.

      Verizon is being greedy as usual.

      What else is new? Ben & Jerry are not walking through that door, y'know...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Mike, 29 Apr 2005 @ 1:21am

    What about the rest of the country

    Hey, there are a whole lot more people out here that don't live in NY and don't have access to Verizon WiFi. So, let's take the big picture into account.

    Next, I use a Verizon EVDO card and I love it. Blows WiFi away.

    I am in the Chicago area and travel a lot. It has worked for me in every city I have been in, even Peoria IL, without having to pay the hotel for a connection or jumping in the car to find a Starbucks.

    The price is worth the convienence. Not everything in life can be free.


    I'd like to know why so many people tie the word free and computing together so tightly. There is a cost to everything. If we would stop following Dell down the yellow brick road and pay what a computer is really worth, tech support would not be in India.

    As more people join the bandwagon, the infrastructure will get better. Therefore, it will be able to do Bit-Torrent. I use the VPN feature now.

    Also, as with everything new, the price should start coming down to DSL prices is say 12 to 18 months.

    If Verizon makes a profit on this thing, so what! It works as advertised and is worth every cent in time it has saved me.

    Mike

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike (profile), 29 Apr 2005 @ 6:57am

      Re: What about the rest of the country

      Yeah, I'm not saying the EV-DO service isn't great.

      So far, it seems like an exceptional service. You're missing the point however. There's no reason they can't keep expanding the EV-DO and keep the free WiFi going at the same time.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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