An Ericsson executive recently predicted that WiFi’s time has passed:
“In Austria, they are saying that mobile broadband will pass fixed broadband this year. It’s already growing faster, and in Sweden, the most popular phone is a USB modem,” said Bergendahl, who was the keynote speaker at the European Computer Audit, Control and Security Conference in Stockholm.
As more people start using mobile broadband, hot spots will no longer be needed. “Hot spots at places like Starbucks are becoming the telephone boxes of the broadband era,” said Bergendahl.
The last couple of weeks I was doing a lot of traveling, and I ended up needing to connect to the Internet where there wasn’t any broadband available. So for the first time I tethered my phone to the laptop as a USB modem and “dialed” in to my cellular company’s data network using PPP. It was surprisingly fast (near DSL speeds), and also very reliable, staying up for hours. It won’t replace WiFi for large bandwidth uses, but it turned out to be a great supplement when I needed it.