Death of WiFi?

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.


  1. I’ve had to go to using my Sprint Razr V3M phone as a modem as my primary connection at my church office, because our building is too far out of town to get DSL or Cable. I have no complaints- the only drawback I’ve noticed at all is streaming video “stutters” a bit. They have a plan that is pretty reasonable ($39.95/mo unlimited use with a 2 year commitment).

  2. I’ve recently been connecting quite a bit with my Treo, and I can see what you mean. With free WiFi hotspots becoming fewer all the time, it’s getting easier and easier to justify paying one’s mobile provider and having unlimited access just about anywhere. It costs like $6-8 to connect at Barnes and Noble, or a hotel or most airports.

    A couple weeks ago, I blogged and did real-time tracking as I drove 2200 miles across country via my mobile phone. Definitely not possible with wifi.

    Off topic: I followed a link from one of my WordPress plugins to your site before I realized, “Hey…I went to BJU with that guy.” Small world.

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