If you're new to wireless news, know that there are thousands of new wireless Internet subscribers joining the growing ranks of the mobile warriors, users who increasing use their mobile devices to conduct their businesses or personal lives. And at today's rate of mobile adoption and way of doing things, we're going to get a heck of a lot of congestions in the not too distance future.
Hence, ATT and Verizon Wireless have joined the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), an organization working to make sure various carrier Wi-Fi networks can work with one another. And this move means 160 million users with tens of thousands of hotspots join a larger global Wi-Fi network.
This all sounds great but I'm guess it won't be so easy. Nevertheless, it's a great first move by these two operators who guard their fiefdoms jealously. But with ATT having issues with their 3G network, it has also been trying to offload a lot of traffic to its 20,000 hotspots.
And if you haven't been hiding in a cave or under a rock in the last decade or so, you know that Wi-Fi has true changed how people use their laptops. No longer were we tethered to an ethernet cable. We can move about. From one office to another. To the patio, dining room, or anywhere within the range of the access point.
And with the latest Wi-Fi protocol, 802.11n, the theoretical range is 100 meters. Heck, I'll settle for even half of that any day. But the point is the newer protocol affords wireless providers to blanket larger area with Wi-Fi Internet access.
And let not forget that White Spaces is still be worked on. What WBA is doing is providing members with the ability to allow its users to move from one network to another with ease. And whether it's Wi-Fi or eventually White Spaces or something else with even greater speed and range, we mobile warriors should all benefit from this.
So, with ATT and VW a part of this network, we mobile users, whether its laptops, iPhones, Android devices, or anything with Wi-Fi capability, we can potentially gain access to faster Internet than what EDGE or 3G can provide.
Travel. If you travel, I envision this should benefit you greatly. This is a global alliance which means moving from one network to another region, continent, or country should help mitigate the problem of looking for Internet access and less the cost.
According to WBA's website, it has a network of 90,000 hotspots from Europe to the Middle East to the Americas. A cursory check shows only T-Mobile USA from the US that has joined WBA. ATT and Verizon Wireless at not yet listed. There is no news of Sprint being a member or plans to join it.
This is the first time I've heard about the WBA. When I've got more information, I'll post it. And yes, this is very exciting news.
Lots more information at WBA, CNet News, White Spaces.