Thursday, December 3, 2009

Wi-Fi Christmas - Everywhere You Go (Eventually)

I like what’s going on in the wireless realm these days.  There’s a lot going for us mere mortal but dedicated mobile warriors.  Whether you’re a hockey or soccer mom, programmer in Asia, office manager drinking espresso in a Paris café, or just like me, a gear lover, we have more choices than ever of hardware to choose from.

More importantly, I’m beginning to feel a lot more confidence about our wireless access situation.  I’m talking about blanketing whole areas with Wi-Fi so that people will go and be able to use their mobile devices or smartphones.

Because it’s the Holidays in the US, I like to go out.  I enjoy the cooler air, decorations, and music.  The crowd.  Like the song says, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Now, what’s better about it this year?  Wireless access.  Starbucks.  Checked.  Airports, Google’s got some of them covered.  Bookstores like Borders and Barnes and Noble, right, free Wi-Fi for everyone. Even some small mom-and-pop coffee shops and diners now offer free Wi-Fi access.
I think business owners are now just wising up to the fact that wireless Internet access is as indispensable to their patrons as the restrooms, free water, and a good old-fashion smile.

Where else should offer free Wi-Fi to drive traffic?   How about the following places:
  • Fast food places like MacDonalds – Wi-Fi with those fries?
  • Car dealerships – oh, man. The waiting.  People can spend half a day there.
  • Tech stores like Bestbuy – of course!  You sell tech!  What’s gadgets these days without Wi-Fi?
  • Supermarkets – I’m not kidding.  I study at a local Pavilion.  They’ve got a deli, Panda Express, Jamba Juice, and a Starbucks.  But no Wi-Fi.  Why not?
  • Malls – to continue to be the hangout place, free Internet is essential to drive foot traffic.
  • College towns – this is a non-starter.  Wireless access should be required for any educational institution whether you’re a 36K strong campus like UCLA or a 1,000-student body community college.
  • Theme parks – Disneyland had no Wi-Fi.  Steve Jobs is the largest single shareholder of Disney.  I wonder if he knows the Happiest Place on Earth has no free Wi-Fi.
  • Office parks
Where else do you think we should have Wi-Fi access?  More and more it's beginning to look like a Wi-Fi Christmas for some businesses but more should follow.  

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