As I have mentioned in the past, WiFi is becoming an important part of the carrier strategy and needs to be included in a bundle of products ranging from voice to wired broadband to TV. AT&T offers free WiFi to customers, Cablevision does as well. Now it seems Verizon is jumping on the bandwagon by potentially partnering with Boingo. Remember that AT&T purchased Wayport so that is one less provider Verizon can work with.
Availability of free Cablevision WiFi is getting more and more play… As you may recall I was recently interviewed by BusinessWeek regarding Optimum WiFi and today, David Pogue of the New York Times mentioned the service as well and pointed out this nifty coverage map.
It seems WiFi truly is becoming a strong competitor to WiMAX in many instances. We have learned from the past that every time we tried to kill off Ethernet, it kept evolving and getting stronger. WiFi is doing the same and just as every device had an Ethernet port in the past making the standard that much stronger, so many wireless devices from laptops to picture frames and smart phones have embedded WiFi as well.
The question becomes, how does the proliferation of free or bundled WiFi change adoption levels of LTE? And what about 3G? So far there doesn’t seem to be a negative effect and perhaps this is because once you get used to surfing on the go, you want to do it in areas WiFi just doesn’t reach.