Thursday, October 30, 2008

AT&T's ulterior motive - 3G vs. WiFi

All hail! AT&T has given all the iPhone users free WiFi access inside their hotspot network at places like Starbucks. Pretty cool, huh?

Not so fast... While this may seem like altruistic behavior, it is just good business. 3G data is pretty darn expensive to deliver. If an AT&T customer with a dual-radio device, like an iPhone, is within range of their WiFi network, then it saves them a ton of cash to move that user onto the WiFi.

So, while it is definitely a nice capability for users, don't think AT&T is doing you a favor. They are just reducing their costs. On the other hand, if they suddenly enable VoIP over that free WiFi, the rules really would start changing.


Sniffy said...

While AT&T suddenly goes fashionable about WiFi because of the iPhone FON still struggles to popularize its goal to create a global wireless internet community. Thus FON improved the use of the iPhone by forwarding its own Apps. Available are FON-Maps and its improvement WiFON. FON has an alliance with Fring, which offers an Apps which makes it possible to use Skype or another SIP or VoIP provider on your iPhone. FON and Fring and iPhone together bring forward iFON. That combines all!

Steve Burgess said...

One of the reasons I have not gone to the iPhone yet is that I have a Blackberry with T-Mobile UMA WiFi VOIP. This means that when I roam into a Starbucks (or any other location with a free or T-Mobile capable hotspot) I seamlessly transfer from the cell network to the VOIP network. Even at home! Well, almost seamlessly. Almost always. It's pretty good, though!