Just to clarify and add a couple points to the short Seattle Times blurb. T-Mobile sounds really open about playing with a wide variety of 802.1X clients, not just the one offered by Microsoft. Users of Meetinghouse's Aegis and Funk's Odyssey clients can also use T-Mobile's more secure network -- and those two companies offer clients for many platforms, including various flavors of Windows, Mac OS, and Unix/Linux. In addition, T-Mobile will support open-source clients.
Another interesting tidbit that didn't make it into the blurb is that T-Mobile will make its own client. T-Mobile is currently working with Boingo, which is developing a customer client for them that allows both 2.5G cellular and Wi-Fi connections, and we assume that this new 802.1X authentication is part of that deal.
The 1X upgrade will be quite an undertaking seeing as T-Mobile workers will have to go out and touch each AP to add software and firmware. Currently, T-Mobile has 3,000 hot spots and they predict 4,000 by year's end. The effort should be worth it, considering that 88 percent of T-Mobile's hot spot users are business people.
T-Mobile offered a couple of other unspecific points about network usage. The company has noticed more data travelling over its network, which Pete Thompson, director of marketing for T-Mobile hot spots, attributes to customer comfort with using the network. "People are happy and satisfied with the system and they're starting to change their behavior," he said.
Thompson also clarified a stat he gave up earlier when he said that the average session time is 45 minutes. The average time is pretty venue specific, he said. In retail venues, the average is closer to an hour but in places like airports where customers don’t have a lot of time the average is lower.