Are the mobile vendor giants of the world back to bashing Wi-Fi? At the European Computer Audit, Control and Security Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, Johan Bergendahl of Ericsson said the Wi-Fi hotspots of the kind in Starbucks and hotels could become the telephone booths of the broadband era--you know, very out of place, if not completely extinct. However, those comments come not long after AT&T announced a new Wi-Fi deal with Starbucks, and announced that its broadband customers could use its public Wi-Fi hotspots for free. In addition, AT&T has entered the municipal Wi-Fi market, building a network for the City of Riverside, Calif. If AT&T moves are any indication, telcos may be warming up to Wi-Fi strategically after years of only dabbling in it through resale. Meanwhile, the days of expensive public Wi-Fi access may be coming to an end, but mobile broadband roaming, coverage and quality is still lacking.
The most bizarre part of this story is the final sentence, in which Bergendahl suggests some hotels may be blocking mobile radio signal to give themselves more opportunity to reap revenue from lobby and guest room Wi-Fi.
- see this story at InfoWorld
- AT&T announced the Starbucks deal last month