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Ericsson Predicts Swift End For Wi-Fi Hotspots 286

Posted by Zonk
from the kind-of-in-their-interest-to-do-so dept.
mikesd81 writes "Mobile technology group Ericsson is predicting a 'swift end' for Wi-Fi hotspots, according to the PC Pro site. Johan Bergendahl, the company's chief marketing officer, offers this analysis: 'The rapid growth of mobile broadband is set to make Wi-Fi hotspots irrelevant ... Hotspots at places like Starbucks are becoming the telephone boxes of the broadband era. Industry will have to solve the international roaming issue ... Carriers need to work together. It can be as simple as paying 10 euros per day when you are abroad.' He also pointed to a lack of coverage as a potential hindrance to the growth of the technology."
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Ericsson Predicts Swift End For Wi-Fi Hotspots

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:32PM (#22709794)
    Now people will just go to Starbucks for the overpriced foo-foo coffees.
    • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:51PM (#22711882) Homepage Journal
      Now people will just go to Starbucks for the overpriced foo-foo coffees.

      Customer: Could I have small coffee
      Server: That would be a mezzo, sir
      Customer: what the f*ck? mezzo is medium, piccolo is small
      Server: sir mezzo means small
      Customer: never mind, I'll a medium coffe
      Server: That would be a grande, sir
      Customer: Whatever, just give me a medium coffee that is actually a small.

      foo-foo coffees and no grasp of language.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Virtual_Raider (52165)

        I hate that too. "Grande" means big in Spanish, so as a native speaker it just sounds wrong to me and when I go I ask for a "medium-sized whathaveyou" and they ALWAYS try to 'correct' me. I usually politely reply that I refuse to to use their marketspeak and I point to the medium-size display glass that they usually have and repeat my request. I'm polite 'cuz it's their job, but I really hate that stupid naming convention.

        I always leave comments to that effect with different pseudonyms every time I go to

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by hey! (33014)
          The thing is, they must know something about how language is wired to the buying impulse, because they're extremely successful and extremely insistent upon this point.

          My brother is a bigshot in the food service industry. He's very good at what he does. One day I mentioned to him that I'd ordered a medium soft drink at a fast food restaurant and it turned out to be 32 ounces -- as much soda as we used to order for the entire family when we were kids. According to him, this is a way to maximize sales. Peopl
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:34PM (#22709808)

    It can be as simple as paying 10 euros per day when you are abroad.'
    Ten Euros a day? Well gee, at that low low price, Wi-Fi hotspots don't stand a chance! /sarcasm
    • by jfengel (409917)
      The summary misses the vastly more reasonable figure of 20 euros per month, already available and expected to come down.

      The ten euros a day figure is for international roaming, the most expensive kind of access.

      The article IS dumb, but it's not as dumb as the summary makes it sound.
      • by Da_Biz (267075) on Monday March 10, 2008 @11:16PM (#22712056)
        The summary misses the vastly more reasonable figure of 20 euros per month, already available and expected to come down.

        I live in the US and pay Sprint about $60/month for unlimited, nationwide access to their EVDO network. I use a Novatel Wireless S720 PC Card (EVDO Rev. A) card and reliably get about 750-1250 kbit connections (sometimes, it's as good as 2-3 mbit/sec). Except for the monthly price, Sprint's abysmal customer service, and my questions about mechanical reliability of both the PC Card connector (lots of insertion/removal) and my specific card's design, I wouldn't want to give it up. Overall, the service is useful.

        However, I still look for Wi-Fi spots for two main reasons:
        1) If I don't have my power adapter with me, my laptop's runtime on batteries is shortened around 30-50% with the use of the EVDO card. If I suddenly get a ton of last minute work to do, I won't even bother firing up the Sprint card without the power adapter.

        2) Sometimes, it's hard to beat a fast WiFi connection. I generally don't need more bandwidth than the Sprint card provides on average, but several hotspots I go to have ponied up the extra money to support a solid Internet connection (4-7 mbit down).

        Until these are addressed, I think talk about WiFi's death is a bit premature...
    • by Demerara (256642) on Monday March 10, 2008 @10:27PM (#22711654) Homepage
      I pay about US$0.20 per Megabyte here in Pakistan. For that I get HSPDA and, so long as I'm in a city, it work well, reliable and fast.

      When I go home to Ireland, I put an Irish prepaid SIM card in my phone. I asked them (wisely) how much their 3G service costs. They told me it was Euro10.00 PER MEGABYTE. Needless to say, I disabled all the data functions on my Windows Mobile smartphone.

      Why the phenomenal difference between the two data tariffs? Nobody could tell me. Some media stories surrounding the announcement by the European Union that they were looking at Roaming charges suggested that the high price of data services cross-subsidises lower voice and SMS costs. In any properly regulated telecoms market, that sort of cross-subsidy should be banned. It is no longer business customers who want data services - telcos who stack it high and sell it cheap will gain market share and should smell the coffee.

      In fairness, a post-paid data-only 3G subscription is available in Ireland for Euro50 (for the dongle) and Euro15 per month (that will increase after three months and the service is capped at 5Gb per month). This is more reasonable. But 10 per day? No way Jose...
  • by Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:34PM (#22709812)

    Carriers need to work together. It can be as simple as paying 10 euros per day when you are abroad

    Sure it's simple, but it's not cheap.

    • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:39PM (#22709866)
      consider many wi-fi spots are free, and the most expensive are $29 (15E) per MONTH these guys are on crack. Even ATT is giving away wi-fi access to their paying DSL customers of premium packages.

      What they really mean is that Google's 700Mhz gambit will make paying more than $15 per month for a wireless device that's only a phone, or only Wi-fi go away... cleared that up!
      • by leenks (906881)
        Maybe in California, but most of the rest of the USA you still have to pay for Wireless - at least that has been my experience so far. Other countries can be far worse - the UK is EXTORTIONATE in comparison, although the launch of 3G wireless contracts for PCs is helping with that.
        • by c_forq (924234)
          Maybe it is because I have only lived in cities with colleges in them, but in my experience free Wi-Fi is EVERYWHERE, even places it doesn't really make sense (like bars, tanning salons, and barbers).
          • by xSauronx (608805)
            for christs sake, the wendy's in this podunk town of 11,000 offers free wifi. im not about to consider buying a mobile internet card.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by darkpixel2k (623900)
              for christs sake, the wendy's in this podunk town of 11,000 offers free wifi. im not about to consider buying a mobile internet card.

              No kidding. I just called Verizon about a corporate cell phone plan for one of my clients. They were quoting $1,000 for 10 lines with 1,000 minutes per phone, and no extra services. Data cards were $55/mo for 2 GB service plus something ungodly like $0.45/MB after you hit the 2 GB cap. And if you wanted text messaging it was just under $20/month/phone...and that only go
              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by alexborges (313924)
                "Too bad there isn't a cool open linux-based handset combined with a cheap radio running on a linux-powered box that could be used as a cell 'hotspot'...then you could start deploying them all over the place in a mesh and charge a flat monthly fee for unlimited in-network calls and a small per-minute fee for off-network calls which can be routed through some VoIP provider to POTS numbers..."

                Enter google android. And we are going to make this cellphone company punks run like HELL for their money. The net has
        • by dwater (72834) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:19PM (#22710328)
          > some Other countries can be far worse

          Some other countries, are *far* better. China, for example, never charges for wifi - well, I've never found a place that charges. Even Starbucks has it for free. SPR Coffee. Pacific Coffee. All free - not even a home page or login. Just fire it up and go - like at home (probably very similar equipment and service).

          I use a free product called Devicescape [devicescape.com] where you can add hotspots and other wifi access points; it'll create a single fake access point on your device and automatically switch between the real ones when it finds them. Works pretty well on my Nokia E90. I added 'linksys' and a few other common SSIDs and it gets my email while I'm walking down the street, or on a bus :)

          But, yes, that certainly isn't cheap.
          • by bendodge (998616)

            I added 'linksys' and a few other common SSIDs and it gets my email while I'm walking down the street, or on a bus :)
            You can quickly get a lot more than email doing that.
            • by dwater (72834)

              I added 'linksys' and a few other common SSIDs and it gets my email while I'm walking down the street, or on a bus :)
              You can quickly get a lot more than email doing that.
              Oh? Care to elaborate?
              • by phulegart (997083)
                It is illegal to steal internet access from people who are not smart enough to enable security on their wireless routers.

                Just like it is illegal to steal a bicycle that someone is not smart enough to lock up on their front porch.

                By looking for any of the common (IE default) SSIDs out there, you are exploiting people who are too ignorant (IE uneducated in how to secure their wireless) to lock down the bandwidth that they pay for. Sure, some businesses offer free WiFi, but most of them will at least change t
                • by dwater (72834)
                  Wow. You're amazingly clued up on Chinese law.

                  So, how should I distinguish between the hot spot run by SPR Coffee in DongZhiMen shopping mall who's SSID is 'D-LINK' and some nearby home who also have a d-link router but hasn't secured it? Seems impossible to me...
                • Not immoral, and not illegal in many places. ...and never comparable to stealing a bicycle. Was that a troll?

          • 10 Euro a day? Somebody's severely deluding himself here, or my name's not Napoleon.

            I pay ~21 Euro (199 SEK) a *month* for roaming WiFi in Stockholm, and the only reason I pay that at all is because I can't access any free hotspots reliably from the café where I like to work. I suppose I could find another hangout, but it's close to our office and the owner's a friend of mine - I figure all the free coffee more than offsets what I pay for the RoverRabbit subscription.
        • by mollymoo (202721) *

          The UK was extortionate till very recently. Last time I looked, about four months ago, you were looking at insanity like £6 for an hour or £40 for 60 hours over the course of one month. When I looked a few days ago, I found The Cloud (one of, if not the, largest providers) now charge just £6.99 for a month's unlimited access for one device, with no contract. That's not too bad.

          Anyway, I don't give a shit any more as I've now got an HSDPA phone. 1Mbps or so (real world, theoretical limi

          • by plague3106 (71849)
            Well, let us know when the US gets a taste of decent mobile voice, as there are still many areas where "you can't expect it to work in your house!" is a common message from customer service reps.
        • by tompaulco (629533)
          Come on by my salon in Norman, Oklahoma and enjoy free wireless, or go back behind us to the Burger King to use theirs or across the street to B. Dalton to use theirs.
          Back to the subject: I don't believe that mobile phone internet has the slightest chance of pushing out free wireless hotspots unless and until they can manage to make data rates both faster and cheaper. I have no data plan on my phone and WILL NOT get one until they come up with an unlimited plan with 54Mbps transfer rates for about $20 a mo
        • by anagama (611277)
          Obviously, my town isn't everywhere in the country. I live about 90 miles north of Seattle, but there are at least three local coffee shops with 3 blocks of my office with free wi-fi. Maybe it isn't just CA that's hip to access.
        • My local DSL provider also has the free wifi at any of their hubs deal. I don't remember which carrier it was, probably AT&T though. And that is being offered in a small town in south central Wisconsin, 20+ miles to anything that could be considered a "city". We also have 3 places in town that offer wifi while you wait. I'm not sure of their requirements though, or if there is any charge with them, as I rarely ever bust out my axiom these days.

          -Rick
      • Let me guess, you saw "10 Euros a day" and flipped out.

        Note what the context is: international roaming.

        Considering the current cost of data services on a cell phone, 10 euro a day is not out of line for complete data services across multiple continents.

        voice usage --international calling plans get heavy quickly. Now that data is such a big part of cell service, I'd expect that my monthly bill would be even higher if I were still traveling all over the place and doing almost all my business via cell phon
    • It can be as simple as paying 10 euros per day when you are abroad.

      Someone need a reality check. Why would anyone pay 10 euro's per day if you can get WiFi access for free or as low as 10 euro's per month? Sure, there are people who are willing to pay those amounts, but personally, I rather spend my vacation money on beer than watching YouTube over 3G.

      • by vidarh (309115)
        Because of (lack of) availability. If you're a business traveller in the US, for example, you will likely find yourself regularly in places where only a few expensive providers have hotspots. When I was traveling regularly to SFO last year, for example, I frequently paid $10 I think it was for a day pass even though I was only at the airport for 2-3 hours. $10 is still cheap compared to the salary I was paid to sit there and do nothing if I didn't have internet access.

        And that meant I had to drag out my c

    • Sure it's simple, but it's not cheap.
      And besides -- if mobile broadband represents the future of phones, why is nokia including wifi with all their latest top-end phones? Clearly wifi access is a selling point, and it's a selling point because it's free ...
    • Yep (Score:3, Insightful)

      by StarKruzr (74642)
      This is absurd. "Swift end," my ass. When mobile broadband is $40/mo all over the country, get back to me. I expect that'll be in about 20 years.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by wvmarle (1070040)

        Currently I am paying HK$488, or about USD 62 per month on mobile broadband, for laptop use. That is on a 3G (CDMS/HSPCA) network. Works quite OK but the network is not very well covering.

        And if you are happy with GPRS, then you can get unlimited mobile Internet for as little as $128 per month (USD 16,40).

        International roaming is also worked on; HK carriers offer unlimited China data roaming for about USD 120 per month.

        And of course WiFi hotspots remain cheaper, just like phone booths are/were cheaper th

  • by Damocles the Elder (1133333) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:34PM (#22709822)
    If I sit down at a place and have the option to either A.) Connect to a free wireless hub, or B.) Pay exorbitant amounts to connect my phone to my computer and connect at a horrible speed, which one am I going to choose?

    Wait, don't tell me, I can figure this one out...
    • by One Childish N00b (780549) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:52PM (#22710050) Homepage
      The correlation is this: Ericsson are a dealer in mobile internet devices. It is in their interest for people to move to mobile internet devices as people who buy mobile internet devices might by an Ericsson one. Ericsson don't do wifi hotspots, so there is no way using wifi hotspots puts money from your wallet into Ericsson's pocket. This displeases Ericsson, so they will now crow from the rooftops that wifi hotspots are dead, in a bid to drum up business for their absurdly-tariffed mobile internet devices.

      Does anybody seriously listen when companies come out with this sort of self-serving 'analyses'? Do they think these companies make these statements out of the goodness of their hearts? If one person switches to a mobile internet device because of this, they're an idiot. Doublly so if they buy an Ericsson.

      (Posted from a wifi hotspot).
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by e-Flex (1219042)
        Actually Ericsson does do hotspots: http://www.ericsson.com/ericsson/press/releases/20040921-961341.shtml [ericsson.com] Also I've seen them live at various locations around Sweden.
      • by bjourne (1034822) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:21PM (#22710354) Homepage Journal
        While that is true, it is also true that the situation in Europe is very different from the US. Western European countries have large built out mostly under-used 3G networks so carriers offer fairly cheap access for mobile broadband. 7 MBit for 19/month is not that bad. And at least in Sweden, free wifi hotspots isn't that common. The fee at hotels is about 20/week and on the train it is 10 for a 5 hour ride. Both wifi and mobile operators are trying to screw you so you just have to roll with the one that manages to screw you the least.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by robertjw (728654)

          And at least in Sweden, free wifi hotspots isn't that common. The fee at hotels is about 20/week and on the train it is 10 for a 5 hour ride.

          Why is this? Doesn't seem to make economic sense, especially for the hotels.

          Here in the US the situation is pretty simple. The only people who charge are large established businesses with little competition. Starbucks charges because they have a large customer base. Every other coffee shop in town gives it away for free as an incentive to visit their location. Same thing with many hotels. Holiday Inn offers free wifi. I know, I borrowed it once (and my brother in law stays in a lot of Holiday

      • by TubeSteak (669689)

        The correlation is this: Ericsson are a dealer in mobile internet devices. It is in their interest for people to move to mobile internet devices as people who buy mobile internet devices might by an Ericsson one. Ericsson don't do wifi hotspots, so there is no way using wifi hotspots puts money from your wallet into Ericsson's pocket.

        Sony-Ericsson makes plenty of cellphones with WiFi capability.

        I dunno whatever happened to the Ericsson femtocell [google.com], but even that was going to come with wifi.

        No matter how you slice it, wired broadband is cheaper & VOIP is the cheapest way to talk.

      • by mrbluze (1034940)

        In Australia, the 3G network is freaking expensive and just not an option for anyone who wants wireless as a replacement for wired internet (eg: out-of-city residents). Word has it, however, that the roll-out of Ericsson based wireless will mean an end to Telstra's monopoly on wireless broadband and some seriously competitive pricing (meaning the same cost as wired broadband with the same data plans).

        If that does eventuate, then I'm definitely buying!

      • Also, keep in mind that this was the company that predicted that WAP was going to be the Next Big Thing(tm)...
      • by raddan (519638)
        Thing is, these patently false and self-serving claims seem to have a big effect on a very important group of people: CIOs. I'm not saying that CIOs are stupid people per se, but in my purely anecdotal experience, there's been a strong correlation. It's like they lack the brain structure responsible for critical thinking or something...
    • That's not the question though... the real question is do you share your wireless?

      If you acknowledge the importance of free wireless do you help things or do you think "meh others can just pay for it, I need 5k more for bittorrent!"
      • by penix1 (722987)

        If you acknowledge the importance of free wireless do you help things or do you think "meh others can just pay for it, I need 5k more for bittorrent!"


        More likely not getting the throughput you are paying for because some asshat leech is running a BT client off your hotspot. Not to say anything about the legal issue you run when the MAFIAA (or worse, another 3 letter agency) come knocking down your door.
    • by Dice Fivefold (640696) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:48PM (#22711394)
      What you don't understand is that Johan lives in Sweden, here mobile broadband has really taken off lately. Our operators is offering very reasonable, almost flat rate, high speed mobile broadband deals. For 30 $/month you get about 5-10 GB traffic/month, at up to 7.2 mbit/s download speed and 0.4 mbit/s upload. Many here cut their old land-based broadband and just use mobile. It really makes no sense to hunt for silly hotspots, when i can use my regular broadband where ever i wish to go, with no extra charge. So from a Swedish perspective, what he says is rather obvious. It is just a matter of time until this applies to the US and the rest of the world as well.
  • by Lumpy (12016) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:35PM (#22709828) Homepage
    As soon as I can get cellular wifi for free, then and ONLY THEN will wifi hotspots go away. Until then the entire article is nothing but uneducated posturing by a company that has zero clue as to how the public actually uses the internet.

    Cellular modems are typically very slow unless you buy the high speed broadband type. And that's $50.00 a month for limited use. Even when I have my cellular modem with me I still use public wifi when it's available. It's faster, not capped with hidden transfer caps, and honestly smoother.

    Granted my only experience is with Verizon's and AT&T's offering. but wifi hot spots are here to stay.
    • For one thing, cellular providers could add data packages for low cost, or as parts of service bundles. If they did this, then there are many who would just pay an extra $20 so they could drop the $45 a month for the cable broadband.

      Sprint doesn't have transfer caps, as far as I can tell. I have service with them through Millenicom. DSL is smoother, as you said.
  • Quite the opposite (Score:5, Insightful)

    by blhack (921171) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:39PM (#22709868)
    Places that DON'T have free wifi are finding themselves with a very easy decision:
    either get with the times, or lose business.

    It is assumed that a coffee shop will have wifi, seeing it at a restaurant is becoming more and more commonplace, and seeing it at an airport is starting to be expected.

    Does he mean non FREE wifi?

    This is something that has always baffled me. A really fast cable connection costs about 50 bucks a month (at least thats what I pay for 8down 2up in Phoenix)....a wireless AP costs anywhere from $20-100 depending on how much bullshit you eat from the idiot working at best buy.
    How can you not justify a $50 a month expense, and a $50 initial cost?
    • it's not a $50 cost by any means. BUT...

      Most small businesses need the highspeed connection for credit cards, edi, etc... there's really nothing other than DSL (way too fast) or dial up (far too little) for them anyway. They're probably paying a minimum of $120 per month for what we get for $40 at home.... so they might as well offer it to clients. They're not running $50 routers... or shouldn't be. They should be running netopia or low-end cisco boxes ($200-$500) that split the connection to their priv
      • by blhack (921171)

        it's not a $50 cost by any means. BUT...

        Most small businesses need the highspeed connection for credit cards, edi, etc... there's really nothing other than DSL (way too fast) or dial up (far too little) for them anyway. They're probably paying a minimum of $120 per month for what we get for $40 at home.... so they might as well offer it to clients. They're not running $50 routers... or shouldn't be. They should be running netopia or low-end cisco boxes ($200-$500) that split the connection to their private network and the public network at the incomming box to protect their register networks... PCI probably demands it.

        So why can't they get a separate cable connection for 50 bucks a month, and run that on a 50 dollar best buy AP?
        Running your credit card machines and your public wifi over the same link sounds like a bad idea.
        I guess if you tried to over complicate things, you could get the price higher than $50 a month, but I don't see why you would do that.

        • Every cable company in America that I know of has two tiers of internet service: consumer and business. And dusinesses aren't allowed to buy the consumer options.
          • by tomhudson (43916)

            Every cable company in America that I know of has two tiers of internet service: consumer and business. And dusinesses (sic) aren't allowed to buy the consumer options

            So you look for a reseller (either cable or dsl) that doesn't make the distinction ... they're around.

      • by Nursie (632944)
        I'd be really really really really really surprised and shocked if they were using any form of tech that went over the internet or even shared the first mile with it. They either use a phoneline (plenty fast for a coffee shop, if it's always on), ISDN or some other form of leased private line.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by tricorn (199664)

        Even the $50 cheap wireless routers can isolate the wireless connections from the wired ports, or you get a second cheap wireless router for your customers, plug your business wireless (or wired) router/firewall/NAT into one of the ports on that, and you're isolated.

    • by PCM2 (4486)

      How can you not justify a $50 a month expense, and a $50 initial cost?

      If I had to guess, I'd say it has to do with the telecom industry charging businesses more than consumers, especially if they're "reselling" the service (for free). I don't know for a fact that this is the case, but -- duh. If you were a telecom company, why would you not try to fleece businesses?

      • ...I'd say it has to do with the telecom industry charging businesses more than consumers, especially if they're "reselling" the service (for free). I don't know for a fact that this is the case...

        It is, read the Terms of Service of your ISP. You're not allowed to resell the service and you probably aren't even allowed to share it for free. You are probably also not allowed to run any servers.

        However, business do get something back (at least where I live). Better and faster support, SLA's, less overbooking on the line, managed modem/router, allowed to run servers, static IP, multiple IP's, better upload, etc.

    • by JonWan (456212) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:01PM (#22710168)
      I have free wifi in my videostore and to generate a little extra money I put a few RV spaces on the lot behind the store. I offer my RV customers free wifi and many of them are here because I have it and other places don't. I don't keep my store computer on line except when I use it and it's on a different network anyway. The outdoor access point is a commercial unit that cost me about $200. All I have available is 1.5Mb DSL, but it works out OK.
      people visiting town will come by and get their email and sometimes even spend money here.
  • by LM741N (258038) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:40PM (#22709886)
    Uh, when exactly did mobile broadband become free? Will the shareholders of these companies allow them to give away internet connectivity. I think not. Right here I already have free municipal wifi so why would I want to pay for anything if I am just a casual surfer, which most people are? Of course the Bittorent, ftp, and other higher BW users are going to need something better than municipal wifi or hotspots. But its yet to be seen whether the cell phone carriers can deliver the goods cheaper than cable or DSL.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by CRCulver (715279)

      Of course the Bittorent, ftp, and other higher BW users are going to need something better than municipal wifi or hotspots.

      I highly recommend your neighbour's flat.

  • by iPaul (559200) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:41PM (#22709896) Homepage
    Yes, you could pay out the nose for a 200k mobile broadband account (on a good day) or you could pop in to your local sandwich shop for free and use their broadband (which might be tied into a 5/2 Mbps cable modem). Hmmm...
  • I have no doubt that someday, everyone will have full wireless internet access from nearly everywhere. But I suspect that is many years, maybe decades, off.

    Partly that's due to infrastructure. This sort of thing seems to quickly spread to the densist 10% of population centers, then take years to roll out to the remaining 90% of the nation.

    But I also have a strong sense of skepticism that they will make the service adequate. I expect that they will use the cell-phone model; it will be an expensive,
  • by VirginMary (123020) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:42PM (#22709922)
    I'd like to ask this guy how much money he makes. I am quite happy with my salary and "simple 10 euros a day" seems like a total ripoff to me. If it were maybe 1 euro a day I think it might be fair.
    • by NickFortune (613926) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:08PM (#22710228) Homepage Journal

      I'd like to ask this guy how much money he makes

      Isn't it interesting just how far out of touch from reality he is? I mean, even after you allow for the self-serving corporate shill factor, he's still way, way off anything that sane people are going to want. That can be dangerous for a senior corporate officer, even in marketing. It may be his job to lie, but I suspect that the shareholders would like to think he knew roughly where the bounds of reality lay.

      You know what I think he's doing? I think he's extrapolating from the ridiculous margin the carriers make on SMS messages, and using that to calculate bandwidth charges. He thinks "they pay these rates for SMS, so they pay for connectivity".

      Of course, if too many people make that particular connection, it could end up having the opposite effect to the one he wants.

  • Ten euros a day? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ahfoo (223186) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:43PM (#22709936) Journal
    Doesn't that kind of bloated figure screw up his own argument that wifi is irrelevant? Was that a typo? In the long run when the price is right --and that price will have to be a lot lower than ten bucks a day-- it's quite obvious that wifi will be overtaken by other wireless technologies with wider range. But it's also obvious that there are going to be dozens of standards for different regions of the world for probably another decade or so. On an international scale, telecoms, much like electrical utilities, don't like cooperation because they make money by charging to overcome incompatibilities. Quite to the contrary, there are many cases where telecoms make their money by staying as inefficient as they can possibly justify.
  • Hmmmm (Score:3, Informative)

    by jawtheshark (198669) * <slashdotNO@SPAMjawtheshark.com> on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:43PM (#22709938) Homepage Journal
    Hmmmm.... 10€/day versus 0€/day.... It's probably just me, but I'm going for the 0€/day option. Come on, even if you're abroad and get 2h of "free internet" at starbucks with a coffee for 2.5€, you have more than enough to stay in touch. Heck, my city has been "hotspotted [hotcity.lu]". For the moment it's 100% free....
  • CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER MARKETING OFFICER MARKETING /. I always held you in such a kind light, now I don't know what to think.
  • by gweihir (88907) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:46PM (#22709968)
    Hot-spots are low-latency, cheap to set up and maintain and there are actually quite a number you can use for free. The access device is also cheap and typically computer-integrated, even in low-end laptops. The mobile phone network, in contrast, has high-latency, is expensive to operate, typically expensive to customers and the access device can easily be more expensive than a lower-end laptop.

    This guy is just predicting that he will get more important without any factual basis.
    • by dgatwood (11270)

      Agreed. I would actually go the other way and say that if they want to remain viable, they need to be working with carriers to provide VoIP roaming onto and off of Wi-Fi hot spots. As more cities get broader hot spot coverage, we're going to see more and more people carrying around cell phones that only use the cell network as a backup for when they are out of range of any hot spots. The cellular networks' pay-per-minute rates are out of touch with reality, and in an era of progressively cheaper connecti

  • by siddesu (698447) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:47PM (#22709986)
    especially in the form that is available now in most places. the problem with hotspots is their accidental availability -- you can never be sure that you will end near one when you need it, so rebuilding your "mobile internet experience" around them is pretty stupid. that being said, even when you know you can't rely on them, they can be a nice surprise. that's how i am treating the occasional hotspot -- as a convenience, sometime nice, and (very rarely) helpful in emergencies. that is as much i can say about hotspots.

    now, the issue of mobile connectivity is a different matter altogether. there is only one huge reason we still can't have reasonable mobile connectivity. it is because the mobile carriers are hellbent on not letting their networks 'decay' into something similar to the open internet, where they'll have to make money from network connectivity, and probably lose out on all their stupid "markup" services that are pushed onto the mobile users -- ridiculous "ringtone" downloads, ridiculous "official sites" and what not. once mobile connectivity becomes ubiquituous, all those "business models" will go, and most likely on day zero.

    until the governments (or, eventually, the invisible hand) turn the mobile services oligopolies into something more competitive, changes will be coming at the usual glacial speed.
    • Got one of those T-Mobile phones that does the VOIP deal when near a wi-fi network. As a side benefit he phone is great to have as a wi-fi finder, don't have to breakout the laptop just to check, and I find I wind up checking for wi-fi spots all over the place because of the nerd tendency to fidget. Tells me if the wi-fi spot is locked and signal strength, and if I want to connect the cell phone to the wi-fi network I'll do that too, usually at my favorite bar. In this case my cell phone makes is easier
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by siddesu (698447)
        This is a nice workaround when you're allowed to have it -- and it illustrates my point. Not only is the technology needed for cheap and convenient mobile access available, there is even more than one way to do it. And still, there are virtually no providers that have reasonably and _understandably_ priced mobile plans (voice + data), adequate coverage and open devices.

        Instead, we have phones packed with shit we don't need. I have integrated walkman that allows me to buy any music the phone company believes
  • by themushroom (197365) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:49PM (#22710014) Homepage
    Most notebook computers come with WiFi built in, and the hotspots are free or low cost plus operate in places where other forms of connection may not be readily available (except apparently to the hotspots' hub). Not the case with cellular data service, where one needs a modem and a data plan, plus the service will not work everywhere (despite what certain TV ads broadcasting currently say), plus costs $50 a month for service. Free/ish and 'there' verses home broadband cost and extra equipment? Hmm.

    Additionally, those coffeehouses (and ferries, and restaurants, and so forth) stand to either do good by doing well -- wouldn't you frequent a business where you can get online free? -- or make enough coin to cover the service and then some. Cellular modeming only profits the telephone company. So WiFi is only a dying breed (wishful thinking) in the cellular providers' eyes, same as vinyl records and cassettes went away only because the industry said they were passe, not the consumers.
  • by jayveekay (735967) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:49PM (#22710016)
    1. Get the government to grant you a monopoly on providing communications service.
    2. Charge high fees to your (trapped) customers.
    3. Profit!

    Free (or cheap) Wifi has to be eliminated as part of step #1.
  • 10 euros a day equats to about 16 - 18 AUD per day.

    that's fucking expensive no matter how you look at it. now i'm sure in telecom land that figure sounds nice, but hell will freeze over before anyone other then the really stupid or rich will pay that.

    • by PPH (736903)
      The way the US dollar is going, that's going to be our GDP pretty soon.
  • It can be as simple as paying 10 euros per day when you are abroad.
    It can be as simple as paying zero euros above the (already overpriced) phone charges when abroad. The same or very similar network is used to work on this principle and in a lot of cases not even based on usage. I'm sending this message using that network.
  • Premises (Score:5, Insightful)

    by EelBait (529173) on Monday March 10, 2008 @06:56PM (#22710100)
    "Carriers will need to work together." Yeah, like that is going to happen. It took an act of Congress in the US to get our phone numbers portable. Do people really think that this sort of cooperation just magically happens?
    • Carriers working together would also mean two thirds of cellphone antennas becoming unnecessary. That would be welcome no matter the health risk, those things are ugly.
  • "Just 10 euros" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sta7ic (819090) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:01PM (#22710172)
    A quick check says that 10 euros is US$15. Let's look at some interesting metrics.

    * My 10 meg cable is $50/month or so
    * My rent is $645/month
    * My car payment is $420/month
    * Dinner and a good beer at the pub is about $15-20
    * This service would cost $450/month

    So, "internet freedom" would cost 2/3rds of a month of rent, as much as eating dinner out almost every day, nine times what my statically located service is (where I spend most of my time), and would give me little benefit compared to making a car payment.

    I think "just 10 euros" are much better spent on practical things.
  • Let's seeeee... what kind of business Sony-Ericson was in ? Hmmm... I think they are in cell phone manufacturing. So, if this demise of wi-fi, despite how unlikely, happens to take place, are they going to be benefiting from the windfall ? I'm not an economist but I think so. Who is releasing this article again ? Sony Ericsson ? Yeah, rrright.

    I love these self serving news makers. Go fish, you, less than smart, cry-babies...
  • Interesting (Score:3, Insightful)

    by iamacat (583406) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:05PM (#22710200)
    Mobile carriers are going to provide the same 100Mbps performance as 802.11n, at 50 times the range, with many more expected users on one cell, reasonable send speed and good battery life? I find this new technology fascinating. Perhaps I should subscribe to their newsletter.
  • by leehwtsohg (618675) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:13PM (#22710260)
    When mobile internet is cheap enough so that all locals who want wireless internet access will have a wireless mobile plan,
    then we (providers) will be able to leach off 10 euros a day from tourists, since coffee shops will not have wireless internet then -
    keeping it only for the tourists doesn't make sense.

    as if.

  • I'll be travelling to the U.S. for a month in September.
    I'll be in Nevada (Las Vegas specifically) then later Florida (Jacksonville).

    I'll be taking a laptop with me and I'm wonder what my options are for mobile broadband/wifi with in the U.S.

    Suggestions appreciated.
  • by postbigbang (761081) on Monday March 10, 2008 @07:22PM (#22710366)
    He can take his ten euros, his hardware sales, his subscriptions, and self-fornicate with them.

    What an abnormally stupid thing for even a marketing guy to say. It seems to thread together the common hubris among carriers, telcos, and their equipment providers. Quick-- somebody tell them about the lipfart problem before it's too late. I actually like Sony Ericsson phones (they last longer) over Moto, LG, and the iGroan.
  • WTF are we taking advert space out now on /.?
  • This will only work, however, if the telco's decide to start being reasonable, decent business people, instead of instead of abusive dicks.

    My prediction: abusive dicks, as long as we allow our governments to allow them to get away with it.
  • by SirJorgelOfBorgel (897488) * on Monday March 10, 2008 @08:14PM (#22710754)
    What, 10 euros a day?

    Let's see, I pay 10 euros a month for unlimited (tethering allowed, no hidden bandwidth cap) 3G access on my phone here in Europe. Ok, it's only full UMTS, not full HSPA, but it gets the job done when I'm not on a 8-24 mbit line at home or work. That's 30 times cheaper than 10 euro's a day. What a strange 'simple' figure is that anyway, who spends 10 euros a day on mobile internet?

    As for the wifi hotspots, well to be honest I havent encountered many of them and I do live in a big city, but I haven't really searched for them either. I know the university and two or three of my favourite bars have them (never see people with laptops in there, but I imagine it's nice for others who have wifi enabled phones but don't have a data plan). Unsecured access points are everywhere.

    Roaming are awful though, especially here in Europe. You go somewhere near the border, you get the same provider but from a different country and suddenly you have to get a second mortgage to google. Glad the EU is looking into it.

    That being said, if you are waiting around somewhere and you need internet where your data plan isn't 'valid' (or you don't have one), you can make a wifi hotspot anywhere if you can find somebody with a phone and a data plan with WMWifiRouter [wmwifirouter.com] or JoikuSpot [joikuspot.com] softwares, depending on the type of phone they have.
  • Cel phone CEO predicts competing technology "a thing of the past"! Promises free mobile internet access and hovercraft for all!

    In tomorrow's breaking news, Steve Ballmer says OS X and Linux are doomed, Linus disses any operating system he did not write, and Steve Jobs says OS X is the best OS in the world!

  • At my last job, I had a blackberry with an unlimited data plan. It was nice, I could go anywhere and access most things with the berry itself and if I needed a full laptop for internet, I could just plug that bad boy in and use it as a modem. It was maybe twice as fast as dial-up, not shabby when the only alternative is nothing. The broadband wireless cards were even faster but IT didn't get those, only the sales reps did.

    My current job is computery but not in IT support so no berry for me. I looked into th
  • by tvon (169105) on Monday March 10, 2008 @09:51PM (#22711410) Homepage
    Company claims rival technology is no good, causes cancer, and impregnates young women.

The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not "Eureka!" (I found it!) but "That's funny ..." -- Isaac Asimov

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