Wednesday, February 2, 2011

[WSJ] AT&T, China Telecom and PCCW Expand Wi-Fi; Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile will not Deploy

Cari Tuna covers for the Wall Street Jounral the recent trends in use of carrier Wi-Fi to improve the capacity of wireless data networks. See "Battling a Wireless Deluge" - here.

AT&T, being the most famous wireless operator to use Wi-Fi (see "AT&T: Times Square needs a Wifi Boost to cope with 3G Traffic" - here) : "Today, the carrier has six such Wi-Fi access zones across the U.S. and plans a "rapid acceleration" in its building of such networks over the coming year, said Angie Wiskocil (top picture), AT&T's senior vice president of Wi-Fi services. She called it a "cost-effective complement" to the company's 3G cellular network".

Other carriers using Wi-Fi are Towerstream, PCCW (Hong-Kong) and China Telecom - "Ruckus Wireless said a unit of China Telecom had installed more than 4,000 Wi-Fi access points across Chongqing, a major city in southwestern China, in order to augment its cellular network".
Nevertheless, Sprint Nextel, T-Mobile USA and Verizon Wireless are not deploying Wi-Fi. "There are features on cellular networks that you don't have on Wi-Fi—the mobility, security and reliability that our customers have come to expect" said Nicola Palmer, (picture) VP Network, Verizon Wireless.

See also - "In-Stat: Wi-Fi Hotspot Growth Continues to be Strong" - here

Gartner analyst Paul DeBeasi told WSJ: "Outdoor Wi-Fi access points are also smaller, easier to install and, at roughly a thousand dollars each, less expensive than cellular towers.. however, that Wi-Fi access points are designed to transmit signals several hundred feet, compared with a cell site's reach of several miles"

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