Wi-Fi Hotspots on the way out?

By on March 11, 2008, 10:56 AM
Are Wi-Fi hot spots becoming the public telephone booths of the broadband era? Ericsson’s Chief Marketing Officer Johan Bergendahl indeed thinks they are, calling them “irrelevant” and soon to be replaced by high-speed wireless broadband.

Speaking at the European Computer Audit, Bergendahl argued that the future lies in 3G networks, as mobile broadband is supposedly growing faster than mobile or fixed phone lines ever did and will be able to cover a much larger area around the globe. Of course, these comments should be taken with a pinch of salt. After all, the company designs and manufactures a lot of the equipment being used by mobile operators to deploy their networks, including Ericsson's own flavor of wireless broadband called HSPA.

That said, Bergendahl is probably right about Wi-Fi hot spots being largely displaced by mobile broadband for roaming connectivity in the future, and factors such as coverage, availability and roaming will be key to its success.

User Comments: 3

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icye said:
Mr. Bergendahl's comments should indeed be taken with a pinch of salt because its coming from Sony-Ericsson. I personally don't believe that Wi-Fi will disappear anytime soon because there are many good uses for it. I see a lot of people use their laptops at places that offer these Wi-Fi hotspots and stores like Starbucks know about this. Its good for business to provide that service to the customer because they usually stay longer and buy more coffee or food there while working on their laptop.
phantasm66 said:
The future will likely be in a system that can traverse all kinds of different mobile available networks seemlessly... be they wi-fi or whatever. But in the end ultimately wi-fi will belong to the first generation of mobile access and will in time become obsolete... just as all technologies invariable do eventually to a lesser or greater degree.
peas said:
Wireless broadband will only become dominant when it becomes "free" like WiFi. Right now it's an extra $60-80 per mo which is absurb. With cell phone companies monopolizing each of their segments, that pricing isn't going to change anytime soon. So Bergendahl is basically spewing FUD and corporate nonsense.Heck, I can make the claim that Wireless Broadband will become obsolete some time in the future. WiMax and the 700 MHz spectrum could easily supplant Wireless broadband. Predicting how far in the future that will be is a whole different matter.
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