I have been pondering with the idea that service providers could one day be in big trouble. I mean with Wifi/Wimax being adopted everywhere (Starbucks, airports and even an entire city like Philadelphia), what happens if you can just hop from hotspot to hotspot with your "cell" phone. Would you even need a service provider?
I'm not a tech hardware guy by any stretch, so I would love input on this one.
I keep reading more and more about VoIP and WiFI, but does that only include voice? Couldn't data do the same thing?
Could cable companies place WiFi/WiMax hardware all throughout the country and create an entire network on the ground?
Is there technology that allows a phone to jump from hotspot to hotspot? What if you could use your service provider for voice, and when you wanted to surf the phone would automatically look for a hotspot (for broadband). Can this be done?
Could the service providers and the cable companies work together?
I can take my phone (I don't know if it would be my Uniden or my Treo) and I am connected through the WiFi in my house. When I leave my house, my Treo is constantly looking for hotspots and keeping me connected to receieve calls. Not only will this prevent dead spots (provided adoption is everywhere I go) but I would think mobile surfing using broadband would open up a ton of applications on my mobile phone.
Just like laptops have included a WiFi chip that allows Internet access, couldn't this be done with cellphones too? Could cellphone manuf include a WiFi/WiMax chip that would look for hotspots?
Do we even need 3G if we can do this?
What would the costs be to setup a national hotspot? Does Wimax facilitate this quicker? The license fees versus rollout of Wimax equipment..which is cheaper?
Is this the Iridium project but only on the ground? One phone number, one phone, everywhere?
GPS is being adopted by service providers, but I wonder, how can hot spot owners locate you this way? Does this feature stop VoIP from being adopted?
A new standard for WiFi, 802.11n is coming and that will allow speeads up to 200 Mbps. That would be plenty fast for data.
What I'm wondering is how many/close do WiFi/WiMax spots have to be in order to make this work. How many "spots" do you need in order to handle large volume of users (Manhattan would need how many per block). Could there ever be such a demand on a hotspot that calls/data couldn't get through?
I'm thinking of an event like the Superbowl where millions come into a town and the hotspots are overloaded.
Lots of pondering, hopefully I get some answers from people in this field.