No one wants to have to purchase separate wireless coverage for every device--wired or mobile--they do their computing on. Consumers want to buy a single connection to the wireless carrier’s network, one that will travel with them and connect any of their devices as needed.
As wide-area networks (namely 3G, 4G) get faster and better at reaching inside buildings, users might be able to cancel their DSL or cable service and rely wholly on one multipurpose wireless connection. We’re not quite there yet, but consumers can at least use a mobile hotspot to supply Internet access to multiple mobile devices, including laptops, tablets, and e-readers.
A mobile hotspot connects to the Internet via a cellular network, and then creates a Wi-Fi hotspot that can connect any Wi-Fi-enabled device within a radius of about 10 meters.
Mobile hotspots come in two forms: as free-standing devices like Novatel’s popular MiFi, or built into smartphones such as Samsung’s Epic 4G or Motorola’s Droid X.
Which sort of hotspot - phone-based or free-standing- performs the best in the wild?
Independent tests carried out by Ookla the global leader in web-based network diagnostic applications (http://www.broadband.gov/about_ookla.html) discern that phone-based hotspots are not as reliable as free standing devices.
What promise does this have for Papua New Guinea?
This technological leap in internet distribution and access is catching on like wild fire around the world. With Telikom, BeMobile and Digicel all providing internet via their CDMA or GSM networks, it is only a matter of who will take the first leap forward and the rest will be history.
Competition-wise most of the fixed-line-centric ISPs will be battling for survival unless they start investing in their own Wi-Fi infrastructure to take advantage of this disruptive technology.
For businesses and users of internet the benefits will only be limited by where competition in the ISP sector will lead us to.