The world can’t get enough wireless. Canada’s Research in Motion has put a whole desktop of communication in anybody’s pocket. In California, rental cars now have optional high-speed Internet service. In Finland, cell phones unlock public washrooms.
Less-developed countries have jumped straight to wireless telephone systems, putting untold millions in touch for the first time, while the developed world keeps pushing at the unconnected envelope, wirelessly supporting everything from law enforcement and disaster management to social networking and e-commerce.
Of course, technology that grows this fast leaves gaps in coverage. Wireless now needs to offer lower costs and better service. Cellular customers don’t want to pay full fare for a telephone call in a home or office with a perfectly good Internet connection.
Out in the world, customers want their computers to attach automatically to the nearest cooperating Wi-fi and WiMAX networks, especially if they are already paying the operators of those networks for service.