Slowly backing away from 3G?

I love my 3G laptop card, even though it nearly cost me £1,050 the last time I used it (in Spain, watching video highlights of the US Presidential debates).  Yikes!

Now I see on TechCrunch that AT&T has bought Wayport, a US WiFi hotspot operator, in a $275 million deal.  I wonder if that will prove portentous for the UK, where mobile carriers are still trying to recoup their £22 BILLION investment in 3G licenses.  If the operating costs are significantly higher than WiFi, will we see the same thing in the UK?  And if so, who are the big players in the WiFi hotspot market?

The Cloud already provides a similar service for O2 and Orange (although they levy a monthly fee, unlike AT&T), while the others are either doing their own thing (T-Mobile) or ignoring WiFI altogether (Vodafone).  If WiFi continues to grow, while being much cheaper to support than 3G, will we see the incumbent carriers invest more heavily there?

Should be interesting to watch, in any case.

Thursday, November 6th, 2008 eBusiness, Technology

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