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There will always be an England; or, Rabbit Redux: The BBC notes that an early, short-range, mobile phone service called Rabbit flopped. The ties between Rabbit and Wi-Fi hot spots appear limited to metaphor, though, as Rabbit was probably killed by ubiquitous mobile phone service. Wi-Fi hot spots could suffer from ubiquitous 3G high-speed cell data networks, except that 3G is still a pipe dream that is only slowly showing the first parts of its potential. (3G is shared bandwidth, people!) Even ultimately, Wi-Fi is cheaper and easier to build out blanket coverage than 3G could ever be partly because of the expectation of service.
Virtual balloons fall from the ceiling: Wayport tops 1 million connections: it sounds like marketing news, but it's actually a good milestone, especially since we know that Wayport charges about $7 per session in airports and $10 per day (with partnership split) in hotels. These hard numbers help refute a bit of the analyst's suppositions in the previous paragraph. (By the way, I paid for .0005% of that million.) [via Jacques Caron]
A Yankee Group analyst quoted in the article noted something that I think is invalidated by market research of travelers: [Adam] Zawel was also sceptical about the potential audience for such wireless services. The numbers of businessmen using data services on the move was low at the moment and was unlikely to be boosted by the creation of point specific services, he said. I hope this was misquoted or out of context, because it's clear that millions of business travelers use a variety of data services, focused on dial-up because of its availability. It's clear that when high-speed data service is available, business travelers flock to it; education about hot spots and how to connect appears to me to be the bigger block than an audience traveling with the right equipment. [via Slashdot -- good discussion]
Spring's 1xRTT service: Alan Reiter provides his usual detailed and cogent analysis of Sprint's data cell service rollout asking the right questions about what their advertising means, what their service really is, and what the actual costs entail. It's amazing to me that businesses think they can offer services without showing prices and assume that customers will roll over and just pay when they get the price tag. Retail shows that you need to show people the price and tell them that it's on sale or at a discount: only then are they motivated to plunk money down and buy.