Wi Fi Could Become Obsolete Claims Experts
As the NBN gets rolled out to more homes and businesses, and as carriers start to deliver “Unlimited” mobile data packages due in part by an increased demand for streamed entertainment speculation is mounting that Wi Fi demand could start to wane.
According to Bloomberg consumers won’t need to log on to a Wi-Fi network to avoid costly mobile data overage charges when carriers start rolling out unlimited data plans. They claim that’s a critical change that threatens to render Wi-Fi obsolete.
ChannelNews understands that one major carrier is currently contemplating unlimited data packages and that their current modelling has led them to believe that they could attract a high level of interest from consumers who research shows will use a mobile data supply over traditional broadband via a Wi Fi router.
Tim Farrar, founder of Telecom Media Finance Associates said “You could see a big switch. Your coffee shops may be less compelled to provide Wi-Fi for you now.”
In an all-data-you-can-eat world, consumers’ use of Wi-Fi at public places like stadiums and airports will drop to a third of all mobile data traffic from about half, Farrar estimates. This means businesses not upgrading public access Wi-Fi as often. Smartphone users might not even turn on their Wi-Fi capability, according to Barry Gilbert, an analyst at researcher Strategy Analytics.
The erosion of Wi-Fi’s influence is likely to be slow and uneven. While unlimited data plans make the technology less necessary for phones, many home devices, from a MacBook to an Amazon Echo, still use Wi-Fi to connect to the internet. Wi-Fi also helps fill in gaps in some office buildings and homes that have spotty cellphone coverage.
“Wi-Fi has consistently stayed ahead in terms of performance and its ability to move large amounts of data,” said Kevin Robinson, vice president of marketing for the Wi-Fi Alliance, a consortium of more than 700 companies, including Apple , Samsung , LG Electronics, Intel and Qualcomm “The market is going to decide which technology provides the best capabilities for the end user. To displace a technology like Wi-Fi is likely very optimistic.”