Because Connectivity Is Catching Up On You
You may still be amongst the masses of people who simply want a mobile phone that receives a SIGNAL and therefore the Text Message or Voice Call from a loved one or the office. But the huge global investments in 4G networks, especially in developed markets, suggest that you will become the poor cousin whose interests your Government will need to protect as Providers exploit the more lucrative Smartphone segment.
What is Wi-Fi?
Wiki defines it as a mechanism wirelessly connecting electronic devices.
In fact many of us still own and use digital cameras that require us to attach cables that transfer our pictures and archive them on a PC. Same with our printer. Many of us still own a PC that is not wireless enabled and we daily trip over the mass of wires that spread out like the tentacles of a household squid.
Wi-Fi can remove many of those cumbersome cables by creating an airwave field that will interconnect these devices when we install hardware and software to facilitate the upgrade. However, some equipment may be so out of date that it is simply better to replace.
What is an Access Point?
The term (often called a wi-fi hotspot) refers to a wireless enabled zone. For many of us it is the domestic Wireless Router furnished by our Broadband Network Operator. It usually has a range of 20 meters but this varies with obstructions and the density of some walls.
If we recently bought a PC, a new laptop, a video game console and even a home entertainment system the chances are it is already wireless enabled. The new device will search for the signal, we will confirm the security and we will be active. If not we can buy a device that empowers our equipment.
What Does This Have To Do With My Old Phone?
Not a lot. If your trusty old brick is the level of service to which you aspire then there should be several years of service guaranteed. But, just as FM became the norm, just as digital is replacing analog TV, so will 4G (and subsequent network generations) become the only service available.
Commercial success of the iPad and Android Tablets certainly raises that question and just as many younger subscribers do not consider a landline a necessity, there are many who now access the internet only via their mobile phone signal supplemented occasionally by Wi-Fi locations such as an enabled cafe.
In developed countries where signal coverage is reliable Wi-Fi or Broadband is frequently a cost issue as downloading entertainment via phone can be expensive. Equally with poor broadband signal strength over ADSL lines a continued frustration many subscribers opt for broadband via satellite TV services such as Sky.
A further factor is that many young people demand total lifestyle and device mobility and this often excludes fixed assets such as the standard TV set.
Is There An Obvious Solution?
So there is no predominant solution BUT there is a dominant trend and it is the undeveloped world that appears to drive the eventual success of the air waves.
There are presently 700 million people using Wi-Fi and over 800 million new devices are sold annually. Investment in even overhead wires is prohibitive now that fibre optic is the norm. The cost of burying cable only makes sense in the highest density or most exclusive of developments.
The chances are that investment and the majority will oblige us all to adopt the converged communication tool of the day.
What that will be can be predicted but may well prove to be wrong. We are all happy to communicate by phone but have you ever stopped to think about how tired your arm gets as Auntie drones on? Even I would consider an alternative to that. With converged Wi-Fi technology maybe I can just talk to the wall?