Does anyone even use public telephones anymore? I don’t even use fixed landlines anymore. With the pace of development in the wireless landscape, it makes sense that wireless broadband solutions could sound the death knoll for WiFi hotspots.
And, to make that notion all the more plausible, Ericsson’s Chief Marketing Officer Johan Bergendahl proclaimed during his keynote at European Computer Audit, Control and Security Conference in Stockholm that wireless broadband solutions like HSPA will ensure WiFi hotspots the same fate as public phones.
“Hot spots at places like Starbucks are becoming the telephone boxes of the broadband era.”
“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.”
“In a few years, [HSPA] will be as common as Wi-Fi is today.”
But, before wireless broadband can become as and more commonly used as WiFi hotspots, the wireless industry will have to work out issues with coverage, availability, and price. The issues are even more prevalent in countries with lesser-developed wireless infrastructures.
There’s no doubt that commercial and public WiFi hotspots at Starbucks and from services like Boingo will die at the feet of 3G and 4G networks. Still, private WiFi networks in the home and office will probably live on for a bit longer. Wireless broadband will someday give WiFi a run for its throughput-money, but until LTE or WiMAX can deliver similar data-rates to 802.11n or even 802.11g, I’m going to be keeping my wired broadband subscription and WiFi router on hand.