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Is WiFi just a transition technology?

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011 by Servage

Wireless Networks, most commonly known by the abbreviated term WiFi are available around the world. I’m not even sure how many WiFi access points there are, but simply counting the number of sold WiFi routers and access points from major suppliers like DLink, Netgear and Cisco show that it’s millions and millions around the globe. Private home access points, business networks and public hotspots – WiFi is everywhere. Even in trains,┬ábuses, on ferries and almost in every hotel and cafe.

Staying connected has increasingly become not only a wish, but also a necessity. First for business, now even for an increasing number of private people, being on vacation or similar. Being online is not just fun, it’s a part of our lives. It’s no longer an entertainment activity, it’s a necessary tool for work and private life. We also see this in the drastically increasing number of smartphone users. Access to digital content is needed everywhere, even on the go.

The WiFi technology started out as a convenient idea of a replacement of the traditional fixed networks, to get rid of the network cables. WiFi has also been a much faster alternative for mobile users, compared to cellphone reception. It’s only in the most recent years that coverage of high-speed mobile access via 3G has started to compete with WiFi – mainly in larger cities.

The development of 3G access, however, is going so quick, that the newest 4G technology to some extend is faster than WiFi access points. The big questions is, will mobile reception replace the WiFi based access points? Has WiFi only been a transition technology, to bridge the time from wired networks to truly mobile high-speed broadband?

One thing is for sure: 3G is available and cheap. 4G is emerging, with truly amazing bandwidth. I’m excited to see where we are in one or two years!

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