Are the mobile vendor giants of the world back to bashing WiFi? At the European Computer Audit, Control and Security Conference in Stockholm, Sweden, Johan Bergendahl of Ericsson said the WiFi hotspots like 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 WiFi deal with Starbucks, and announced that its broadband customers could use its public WiFi hotspots for free. In addition, AT&T has entered the municipal WiFi market, building a network for the City of Riverside, Calif. If AT&T's moves are any indication, telcos may be warming up to WiFi strategically after years of only dabbling in it through resale. Meanwhile, the days of expensive public WiFi 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 signals to give themselves more opportunity to reap revenue from lobby and guest room WiFi. -Dan
- see this story at InfoWorld
- AT&T announced the Starbucks deal last month