Can WiFi compete with 3G?

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Consumers are using WiFi wherever they can as 3G is too costly and 2G is too slow. Moreover, with only 5 MHz spectrum available, the 3G network will soon be overcrowded.

 

InIndiabroadband access is still in its infancy but with 3G round the corner, the future seems to hold promise. However, 3G is a costly promise as operators have spent huge amounts to buy spectrum, and so prices of 3G services are unlikely to come down. And unlimited plans are a distant dream unlikely to be fulfilled since operators have got just 5 MHz of spectrum which cannot take the load of too many people using unlimited plans.

Therefore, both operators and users are looking at means to get broadband access at affordable costs without overloading the network. And it is here that WiFi has a role to play, so much so that a 3G operator is already planning to start a service that will automatically transfer a user to the WiFi network whenever he visits a partner WiFi hotspot. This, as stated earlier, will reduce both cost to the end user and congestion in the network.

“The next wave of WiFi is becoming a mobile operator phenomenon, and it is our business to help telecom operators enter the WiFi business with speed to market and a reduced cost and risk profile, without a need for additional capital investment,” comments Evan Kaplan, president and chief executive officer of iPass, a global provider of WiFi solutions.

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