Monday, June 05, 2006

Changing the face of wireless

By Spencer Kelly
BBC Click Presenter

[A man using a coffee shop's wireless internet connection]

Has wireless technology really given us the freedom it promised?

New technologies invariably arrive as the answer to all our dreams and then quickly turn into a nightmare of compatibility issues and specification disappointments.

When wi-fi arrived it was no different. It promised so much and then we was discovered it was allergic to walls, windows, doors and people.

This did not stop things though. Wi-fi may not be entirely fixed yet, but there is little doubt it is incredibly popular.

Doug Loewe from iPass says: "The most surprising aspect is that, for example, we had about 5,000 wireless locations available throughout the world just a couple of years ago. Now we have over 50,000.

"The reason for that is that there are about 100,000 of them worldwide. Those hotspots have been proliferating because there is not only corporate demand, but also consumer demand.

"That is causing an explosion in the number of wi-fi hotspots available."


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