Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Wireless 2.0 - 4G or WiFi (or Both?)

Several articles have come through today about the next generation of wireless networking. The New York Times has great article about Samsung's 4G network, built to deliver 1 Gbps. GigaOm reports that UMA (Unlicensed Mobile Access) companies are partnering together to help devices transition between cellular and WiFi.

It seems silly to build so many networks. There's the power grid, the phone grid, the cable grid, a couple cellular grids, wireless/WiFi/WiMax grids, fiber-optic grids. The problem is that they're so expensive to build that companies want to milk revenues for as long as possible - even if it means limiting their own innovation.

This is why technology like UMA is so important, because it allows people to use their devices on many of these networks, consolidating them from the eyes of the consumer. Seamless transition will be important, not only for companies who don't want to abandon their older networks, but also for consumers who want as fast and universal access as possible without needing to switch devices/networks or own multiple devices to access them.

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