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Ericsson Predicts Swift End For Wi-Fi Hotspots

Zonk posted more than 6 years ago | from the kind-of-in-their-interest-to-do-so dept.

Portables 286

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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286 comments

no more starbucks wireless (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22709794)

Now people will just go to Starbucks for the overpriced foo-foo coffees.

Simple, right... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#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

Simple yes, cheap no (3, Insightful)

Actually, I do RTFA (1058596) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (4, Informative)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#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!

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

leenks (906881) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709974)

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.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

c_forq (924234) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710072)

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).

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

xSauronx (608805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710624)

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:Simple yes, cheap no (3, Interesting)

dwater (72834) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710420)

However, when they imprison you for using that wifi in subversive ways, they'll bill your family for the cost of the bullet used to shoot you.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

mollymoo (202721) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710380)

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 limit for my setup is the 2.1Mbps throughput of bluetooth EDR - cables and dongles suck) is enough for me on the road. TFA is right - I just don't care about hotspots now I've tasted decent mobile data. Anyone from the UK remember Rabbit? No? Neither do most people. They were the mobile phone equivalent of hotspots.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22710572)

>the UK is EXTORTIONATE in comparison

You think so?

How about $6/mb [www.fido.ca]? Until just recently, that was considered "cheap" in Canada. I notice that within the past 3 months we finally have a 3G provider! Only $65/GB! How competitively priced.

Especially since Canada had unlimited cellular internet about 5 years ago from Fido for $50/monthly. That went away once Rogers bought them. Quelle surprise!

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

tompaulco (629533) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710620)

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 month. With the threat earlier today that, due to the interfaces on these mobile devices, the internet will now become even MORE image-based, the data rates on these phones are going to have to play catch-up in order to display the web pages built for their use.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

anagama (611277) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710686)

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.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

Simian Road (1138739) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710252)

I've yet to find free wifi in the UK (around where I live anyway). The wifi that I do find is all attached to different service providers too, so you have to sign up for 3 or 4 different wifi providers just living in the same city.

Mobile broadband would annihilate wifi over here.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22710564)

Plenty aren't free too. In the UK we have loads of hotspots run by t-mobile and BT, you can get sort of reasonably priced monthly deals but for occasional users per hour prices can be up to £6 per hour. I remember the first time I saw this and thought what a rip off, GSM circuit switched dialup would be cheaper.

Why would I pay £6 per hour for wifi when from Three I can get a 1 gig cap 384kbps connection for £5 per month or a 2.8mbps (on a good day) connection for £10 per month and it will work in far more places than have t-mobile or BT hotspots.

More places are getting the message that nobody is going to pay these rates for wifi, up until very recently McDonalds here ran their wifi through BT at these stupid rates, how many McDonalds customers are going to have monthly subscriptions to a BT hotspot? Only the odd business traveller who stops there.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709996)

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.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710446)

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 credit card. If I could have it billed straight to my cellphone subscription I would've loved it. And in fact, I could've, except for the times when I forgot to re-enable my UK T-Mobile hotspot account, but I'd still need to keep the login details with me and go through a login procedure instead of just plugging in my USB modem.

Face it, most people aren't picking their providers based on roaming costs, and most people that use roaming extensively abroad are business travelers, who WILL pay extra for the convenience.

Re:Simple yes, cheap no (1)

shellbeach (610559) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710360)

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 (2, Insightful)

StarKruzr (74642) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710580)

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.

It's a matter of price, obviously. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22709816)

$10 a day vs. free doesn't sound too attractive, but the days of "business traveller" priced WiFi are definitely over.

I fail to see the correlation. (5, Insightful)

Damocles the Elder (1133333) | more than 6 years ago | (#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...

Re:I fail to see the correlation. (5, Insightful)

One Childish N00b (780549) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710050)

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:I fail to see the correlation. (4, Informative)

bjourne (1034822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710354)

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:I fail to see the correlation. (2, Insightful)

robertjw (728654) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710494)

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 Inns). About the only time a business charges for wifi is if they know people are going to come in and they can sell it as an upgrade. Wifi is a very cheap service to offer, so everyone else uses it as a loss leader (bars, tanning salons, dog groomers, whatever)

Re:I fail to see the correlation. (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710408)

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.

Re:I fail to see the correlation. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22710520)

Yes, Ericsson promotes Ericsson.
Ericsson sees the market trends, defines and promotes them.
To say you don't believe in wireless broadband whilst investing billions in R&D on it would be worrying to many.

Ericsson sell equipment to mobile network operators, such as 3G systems.
Operators worldwide are increasingly deploying HSDPA, many which are customers of Ericsson.
Ericsson provides MNOs a viable competitor to WIFI, for average/normal internet usage.

Mobile broadband provided by a mobile network operator and accessed through 3G modems or phones, has an advantage over wifi hotspots because of greater coverage and simplified billing (for the user).
Ericsson's statements make sense to me - I just replaced my home broadband connection with mobile broadband (3.6 Mbit/s) and I'm not looking back.

Re:I fail to see the correlation. (1)

Deliveranc3 (629997) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710412)

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!"

Amazing how companies are unrealistic. (5, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709828)

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.

Actually, you forgot... (1)

StCredZero (169093) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710506)

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.

Re:Actually, you forgot... (1)

espiesp (1251084) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710708)

Well, in THEORY, the existing Rev.A EVDO should be just about as good as the broadband of a few years ago. The problem is, Rev.A coverage is limited, not very supported by hardware yet, and, even when you get it... In most cases... Is not really that fast as all.

If high speed wireless was what they claimed it to be, except the coverage of that claimed performance was universal, then yes, this could be true.

I do in fact use cell internet at home exclusively, in a 1X area, with abysmal speed and reliablilty. Thank GOD I'm on the road 95% of my life.

Damn (0)

sleeponthemic (1253494) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709862)

How am I going to stalk online without fear of repercussion?

Re:Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22710386)

Why, you may stalk online using Tor. [wikipedia.org] Also, how are you sleeping these days, Richard?

Quite the opposite (4, Insightful)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?

Re:Quite the opposite (1)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709964)

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.

Re:Quite the opposite (1)

blhack (921171) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710120)

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.

Re:Quite the opposite (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710282)

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.

Re:Quite the opposite (1)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710678)

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.

Re:Quite the opposite (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710342)

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:Quite the opposite (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22710040)

there isn't a -1 disagree modifier for a reason, -1 offtopic and -1 troll aren't valid substitutes.
Duh, that's what the -1 Overrated moderation is for.

Re:Quite the opposite (1)

PCM2 (4486) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710080)

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?

Re:Quite the opposite (1)

Klaus_1250 (987230) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710422)

...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.

Re:Quite the opposite (4, Informative)

JonWan (456212) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Wake me up.. (1)

Neko-kun (750955) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709870)

...when this affects my GSM phones in the USA.

Seriously, only when something (in regards to cell phones) has been completed in the US can it really be considered standard.

But enough about that, let's get back to the people wanting a cell phone that only works as a phone :P

Re:Wake me up.. (1)

vidarh (309115) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710480)

Since when did the US matters at all when it comes to cellphones? The US has been lagging in cellphone penetration and rollouts of new services for years, and has long since been overtaken in terms of absolute number of phones too.

Back to reality (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22709872)

Wireless hotspots tend to be free (or included in the price of the beverage). What he is peddling is not. So, no, his prediction will not come to pass. But he sure wishes it would -- it would make his job a whole lot easier.

I don't think so, at least not in Canada. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22709878)

With the rates Bell Canada, Rogers, Fido and Telus charge per kb I believe Canucks like me will be using the "telephone box" for a while longer.

They are in fantasy land (2, Insightful)

LM741N (258038) | more than 6 years ago | (#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:They are in fantasy land (2, Funny)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710056)

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.

Uh, no... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22709890)

Somehow I think free WiFi will always be cheaper than mobile broadband...

Free Service (1)

NMajik (935461) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709894)

I can't see Wi-Fi hotspots becoming obsolete very soon. Only a limited demographic is willing to pay for mobile broadband, namely those who would frequently use it. Hotspots, however, are very convenient for people interested in *free* wi-fi (this argument doesn't stand up very well when considering for-pay hotspots) and are mutually beneficial; the business pays a nominal fee for broadband and AP and can attract the business of casual travelers or internet users looking to easily and cheaply get online.

And pigs will fly out of my butt (3, Funny)

iPaul (559200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709896)

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...

Re:And pigs will fly out of my butt (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710546)

"Insightful" - in the US? My $30/month mobile broadband is 7.2/1.4Mbit.

Not for years. (1)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709910)

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, locked-in, walled-garden type of experience.

What is planet is this guy from? (3, Insightful)

VirginMary (123020) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:What is planet is this guy from? (1)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710074)

If it were maybe 1 euro a day I think it might be fair.

Really? That's still 30€/month. Most people don't even pay that for their low-end to midrange home broadband connections! So, if you get something like this, it would *replace* your normal broadband connection. QoS of wireless isn't going to be as good as the good old copper that comes in your house.

If you want to have this on the move, then 10€ per MONTH might be reasonable to have such a feature.... This is not the thing you'll use as primary broadband connection, it's just "to get the fix while on the move".

Re:What is planet is this guy from? (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710242)

I think a Euro a day sounds about right... a little on the high side, but by no means extreme. That's about $46/month U.S., which is close to what I pay for my iPhone connection with unlimited data and 450 minutes of voice in the U.S. I know that data rates in Europe are more expensive, so that wouldn't at all seem outrageous to pay that for the data portion of the connection, at least while on vacation. I'd probably think twice before paying that on an ongoing basis, though.

Ten Euros a day ($15.38), of course, is outright extortionate. I'd go without network access before I'd pay anywhere near that. That's $461 U.S. per month, or as much as it would cost to provide bottom tier high speed cable or DSL service to 30 locations. Thus, I'd have a choice: pay their fees for cell-based networking or blanket the entire downtown area of the city with Wi-Fi hot spots. Either way, I'd pay about the same amount of money, but with one of those schemes, I would be providing a benefit to tens of thousands of other people, too. There's not enough crack in the world for ten Euros a day to make sense except maybe for a very brief vacation, and even then, it borders on obscene....

Re:What is planet is this guy from? (4, Insightful)

NickFortune (613926) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710228)

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.

Wishful thinking! (0)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709934)


Why the flying purple fuck should I pay my carrier's outrageous rates ($20 per megabyte if I'm in the United States with my European phone) when I can get Wi-Fi for nothing from my kindly hotel, coffee shop, airport, etc.? Particularly as municipal Wi-Fi IS going to happen, maybe not with 802.11g, but with Wimax or something else.

Re:Wishful thinking! (1)

ja (14684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710290)

When you thought you payed for the hotel it was actually the Wi-Fi. The bed is free (or included in the price ...)

Ten euros a day? (3, Insightful)

ahfoo (223186) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709936)

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.

Re:Ten euros a day? (1)

lancejjj (924211) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710144)

Yeah, I also found the "10 euros a day" statement a little - um, weird. So weird that I figure that it must be a mistake.

Neither individuals or corporations will be willing to pay $5600+ per year for wireless internet connectivity. So the 10 euros per day statement must be for either something else, or just a misquote, or he's seriously confused.

Hmmmm (3, Informative)

jawtheshark (198669) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709938)

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....

Marketing Dude says his product is hot shit! (2, Insightful)

pieisgood (841871) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709948)

CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER MARKETING OFFICER MARKETING /. I always held you in such a kind light, now I don't know what to think.

Typical Marketing BS (3, Insightful)

gweihir (88907) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Typical Marketing BS (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710304)

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 connectivity, the cell services are sure to be marginalized soon enough. Many cell phone vendors will be marginalized along with them if they don't keep up.

they have always been irrelevant, (5, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

T-Mobile wifi phone, good wifi finder, ironic (2, Informative)

lars_magnusson (860066) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710622)

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 to find free wi-fi, fine with me.

Asinine Predictions (1)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | more than 6 years ago | (#22709994)

Why do people feel the need to make asinine predictions such as this? It seems like every month or two some business/marketing type must open their collective ignorant mouths in order to hype up some need I didn't know I had, or to tell me some piece of technology is antiquated and I should replace it. There was an article here a while ago about the LAN [slashdot.org] dying. There are many other examples, high-def optical media war for one.

Are journalists really hurting so much for stories that any off-the-wall remark coming from a wealthy/corporate source is immediately eligible for publication? If it's really so inevitable, then why not position your company to be in the prime role of servicing the need, instead of informing all of your competitors what the future holds.

Yet another clueless fuck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22710000)

What is it with these string of "the end of..." stories written by some clueless fucks, that have been popping up alot on /. teh last few days? I'm suprised it wasn't a kdawson story, but then I guess the summary would be complete ass then....

COST IS NOT THE REAL ISSUE OF CONCERN (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22710010)

I think most discerning users of any category WOULD NOT MIND PAYING
if the service was speedy, relatively secure and monitored, somewhat private,
and convenient for them to get their work done without issue.

This does NOT describe any wifi spot I've ever encountered, however.

A smart business might offer free wifi as an added 'bonus' to customers
in the way a car dealership offers its clients a cup of coffee.
Print the access code on the bottom of the cup, why not?

It would be VERY interesting if some of these hotspots offered a 'wired' solution also.
Wouldn't take much more in the way of hardware to implement, and the peace of mind is worth it.

My .02

Only in that guy's microcosm (3, Insightful)

themushroom (197365) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710014)

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.

Telco Business Plan (5, Insightful)

jayveekay (735967) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:Telco Business Plan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22710682)

It can be as simple as paying 10 euros per day when you are abroad.

Why should I pay 10 euros when I can just go to the coffee shop I would have been hanging out at anyway and use their WiFi for free. This guy is on crack.

10 euros per day cuts into my crack allowance. (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710024)

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.

Re:10 euros per day cuts into my crack allowance. (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710114)

The way the US dollar is going, that's going to be our GDP pretty soon.

Ridiculously overpriced. (1)

A beautiful mind (821714) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710060)

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 (5, Insightful)

EelBait (529173) | more than 6 years ago | (#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?

Re:Premises (1)

marcello_dl (667940) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710236)

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.

glomerulus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22710130)

psoriasis five dollars quandary yellow besotted

"Just 10 euros" (5, Insightful)

Sta7ic (819090) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Re:"Just 10 euros" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22710618)

It was a speculation of 10 euros "if you go abroad".
A 3G wireless (hdspa, ~7Mbit/s if you got the cell for yourself on a good day) is 20 eur/month (flat rate)
People already buy a 3G-puck if they only can get crappy ADSL or worse.
My 10M ul/100M dl is 15 eur/month.
Nothing extraordinary where I live.

Self serving promotion in my opinion (1)

nomad63 (686331) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710190)

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 (2, Insightful)

iamacat (583406) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

I think he meant to say this (2, Insightful)

leehwtsohg (618675) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Related to this... (1)

Mish (50810) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710292)

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.

Re:Related to this... (1)

mpascal (1158165) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710478)

Get Verizon Wireless broadband then return it in 14 days. Then... Get Sprint Wireless broadband then return it in 14 days. Us natives have to sign up for 2 year contracts. Maybe someone will rent you theirs.

I think his leg is getting wet..... (3, Insightful)

postbigbang (761081) | more than 6 years ago | (#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.

Not slow and not expensive (1)

jonnyj (1011131) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710538)

Mobile internet access is actually very attractive in the UK. For example, for £15 ($30) per month one provider offers a 3GB monthly allowance (plenty for most non-geeks) and speeds of up to 2.8MB/s. I have friends who've dropped traditional broadband in favour of the greater flexibility offered by mobile services.

For that kind of cost, why would anyone bother with free hotspots and the associated security concerns? The only problem is that most providers require you to use Windows.

This may work (1)

rastoboy29 (807168) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710664)

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.

What ! free beats monopoly ??? (1)

speedlaw (878924) | more than 6 years ago | (#22710700)

OK, so we should all get rid of the ability to use free wifi everywhere, and subscribe to an expensive system. From the same people who charge more for text than speech. Who want to lock you into a proprietary system. uh-huh Next bong hit, please.
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