31 December 2009

Report on WiFi Hotspot Usage

This report from In-Stat is interesting but not surprising: WiFi hotspot usage is increasingly shifting from laptops to hand held devices:

As a percentage of total connects, handhelds increased from 20% in 2008 to 35% in 2009. By 2011 handhelds are anticipated to account for half of hotspot connects ...

I wonder if we can anticipate a model where handheld devices automatically test WiFi hot spots for data service either in conjunction with or instead of carrier-based services. Using this in conjunction with carrier services would require inverse multiplexing capabilities in the phone and in the service provider, which is more complex and requires more coordination than an either/or type of service. The capability to augment carrier-based services could ease the pressure on spectrum that some carriers are reporting due to the increasing popularity of smart phones.


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