Wi-Fi hotspots to skyrocket over next five years
And you reckon 2.4GHz is crowded now...
Right now there are 1.3 million public Wi-Fi spots around the world, but Informa reckons that's going to jump to 5.8 million by 2015 with tablets and smartphones driving the deployments.
Those figures don't include the 4.5 million "community" hotspots – privately owned but publically shared – the 5.8 million hotspots up and running in 2015 will be available to anyone who wants to pay, but most will be run by mobile network operators who want to offload as much of their data traffic as possible.
Informa, which compiled the data for the Wireless Broadband Alliance, spoke to 259 network operators around the world, and discovered that tablet computers already account for a tenth of hotspot connections, while smartphones account for 36 per cent and laptops less than half (6 per cent are unaccounted for).
Network operators are very happy to offload traffic onto Wi-Fi, so China Mobile is planning to deploy more than a million hotspots in the next few years, and Japan's KDDI has announced plans for another 100,000 within the next six months. In the UK things get a bit weird thanks to our regulatory environment, but we too are heading in that direction.
The UK's mobile operators have a voluntary agreement to block access to adult content over the mobile internet (at 2.1GHz), so you have to call up the operator and present a valid credit card before it will let you browse porn sites. But jump 300MHz up into the Wi-Fi band (2.4GHz) and you can get all the porn you want, from the same operator on the same device – which is clearly nonsense.
The solution is for all ISPs in the UK to block adult content by default, and the mobile operators are obviously a testing ground for that approach (for the sake of the children, obviously). But until the government can cajole the ISPs to play along we have this weird clash of regulatory environments.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance is pushing its single-sign-on standard to make it easier for devices to authenticate themselves, so users can roam onto Wi-Fi connections without having to ask, though if they're switching regulatory environments that might come as a shock.
Getting seamless roaming means adding the capability to handsets and access-point hardware, which is what the Alliance hopes will be promoted by this report. The full report, complete with case studies, is available for download (PDF), but there's also an easily digestible graphical version (also PDF, but only one page with big writing) complete with supporting video for those who haven't the time to read words. ®
Does this mean ....
..... I will, at last, get better reception of the Home Service on my crystal set ?
Porns blocked on GSM GPRS and Edge
You have to go through the same gatekeeper... Although I have to giggle each time I read a post on a network operators forum threatening to leave because of the kiddy filter. Iirc only three turn it off by default and then only on pay monthly; but they're never the operator the outraged customer is threatening to move to.
That said the article is wrong on one point - the solution isn't kiddy filters on 2.4Ghz; the solution is to get the government out of the censorship business and for parents to take responsibility (and they complain that todays yoof is irresponsible...)
Sounds a lot, isn't really
1.3 million worldwide? So, one for every 5,500 people. Even going up by a factor of five that's not impressive.
WiFi is cheap but it is also technologically challenged with the spectral efficiency of a "top Whitehall department" and the energy efficiency of Rusatom as anyone will know who's ever run one in a block of flats with a lot of geeks around.
Bill seems have to avoided it but I guess the reason for network operators wanting to offer WiFi hotspots for data is because they can save money on infrastructure bay having less of it and by not having to worry so much about QoS or by having signal towers close enough to provide a signal in people's homes. Any numbers on what will happen to signals in the 2.4 GHz band as unmanaged contention continues to rise? I think I'm going to apply for a job writing excuses "the reason you can't get a connection is because it was the wrong kind of website", "you're holding it wrong", "they told us home entertainment systems in the same band wouldn't be a problem", etc.