Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Pull up a chair, Wi-Fi

There’s a place for Wi-Fi at the table. So say mobile operators, who used to believe Wi-Fi was a major threat to their bottom lines, according to a recent article in Fierce Wireless.

“Fast-forward to 2009 and the number of connections on AT&T's 20,000-some domestic hotspots totaled 10.5 million in the first quarter. By next year, In-Stat predicts 20 percent of all WiFi chipsets will reside in mobile phones. And BlackBerry maker Research In Motion has promised to include WiFi in its flagship CDMA BlackBerry starting next year, a move that CCS Insight handset analyst John Jackson describes as "seminal."

CDMA is coming to the Wi-Fi game much later than GSM, but it appears to be jumping in with both feet. Qualcomm is currently embedding 802.11 on chipsets, and the demand, they say, is coming from the operators.

When reviewing the benefits of Wi-Fi, well that’s where offload becomes a key consideration for operators in that it can help them offload some of the data traffic from the mobile network. In the end, it provides a better user experience.

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