41 thoughts on “How Smartphones Are Making Wi-Fi Hot Again”

  1. Great summary of the contextual importance of WiFi, but let’s not overlook these facts:

    1. WiFi embedded on nearly 100% of laptops and netbooks sold.

    2. Mobile broadband service slow and spotty today versus WiFi.

    3. WiFi is very affordable, although limited geographically today.

    What will be most interesting is in a few years when we begin to see WiFi “white spaces” deployments which cover urban areas. This will likely be HIGHLY disruptive.

    My $.02,


      1. perhaps you should go back and re-read the post. i was watching Hulu on my computer using the MiFi and using iPhone to access stuff (like email and web and what not) when on the go and in the part.

        Hope that clarifies it.

  2. AT&T’s 3G service in San Francisco is so over subscribed that truth in advertising should require changing the name of the device to the iPhone Edge.

    But seriously….These numbers are more an indictment of carrier’s 3G service than a sudden increase in demand for Wi-Fi. Best case carrier’s are using WiFi to mitigate the problem. We’ll see how they feel when and if they upgrade their 3G networks as promised and eventually migrate to 4G.

    1. While 4G will provide more throughput, still the spectrum currently available will not be sufficient for the data hungry applications like Video and Audio. So, I do expect the carriers imposing limits on the amount of data you can consume (especially on iPhones, etc.) as well as time based pricing just like they do now with their voice plans.

  3. WiFi has an interesting “line drawn in the sand” moment at the Apple event in Sept.:
    Will the iPod Touch have a built-in microphone?

  4. very useful stats..I too use WiFI most of the time whether it is a laptop or mobile phone..cause it is cheap and fast….

  5. i believe WiFi lost a lot of appeal in peoples minds early this decade when place like starbucks went from completely open free WiFi(of course paid for through coffee sales) to subscription based services with gimmicks for free limited usage. i am seeing more and more 3G USB dongles hanging out of computers in starbucks.

    for most consumers it is not about WiFi versus 3G. it is about only one thing. free internet!! five years ago it was seen in many peoples mind as fact that by now the United States would have a very basic(nothing too fast) internet connection available free of charges across the country. just like we benefit from free use of the sidewalks and street it would benefit society greatly to have a very basic internet connection available in all locations free of charge. the big telecoms could continue to sell services to the bandwidth hungry power users but give me perhaps 256 kbps free everywhere.

  6. Can you post your method for accessing Spotify? I have an invitation, but don’t know how to access a proxy server in the EU.

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  8. Om
    I cant’ help but think you are being sarcastic with your 3G comment. Wi-Fi is great but not pervasive. Very often ‘free’ but “spotty” with regard to coverage, roaming, sign-on, security, VoIP, etc. But, I agree with your sentiment. If you have a CAP on your data consumption, Wi-Fi is great. If unlimited/Flat-rate smartphone contract with AT&T 3G , then technology usage is based on best-possible experience (by location).

    Overall – a good article with great stats. My 2 cents.


  9. This is a great indicator on consumer trend and equally as eye opening a condemnation of the telecos greed and profit for scarcity approach to limiting its customers. Who actually pay the bills. More money for fewer services or lessened capability is becoming the MO for business in America.

  10. About wireless networks; I think it`s disturbing that we dont hear more about the possible health effects that come as a result of wireless networks. In a recent study about wireless networks done in (if I recall correctly) the University of Oslo, Norway, the results were that a wireless network were 40 times as powerfull and equivalent (potential) harmfull compared to cell phones.

  11. @Bensinkort: You may be right about the health effect, but how come we have heard little to none about it in the news? I smell a conspiracy theory in the making here, with hardly ANY facts to back up what you`re saying. Can you for example give us a link to the study? Would be an interesting read.

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