05:54 PM
Stephanie Stahl
Stephanie Stahl

Editor's Note: Going Mobile: Wireless And Wi-Fi

It is summer, and when temperatures get above 100 degrees where I live, the power company starts to sweat. So my electricity goes out just seconds before I'm able to send an important video file to an FTP server. It's a huge file, so dial-up isn't an option. Off I go on a search for Wi-Fi. Can't get a connection at my favorite coffee shop, so I head to a restaurant that has both power and a huge sign outside boasting "free Wi-Fi access." It takes numerous attempts to get a strong signal and 59 minutes to upload the file, but it's successful. Wireless networking has saved the day. Now, as I sit here on the sofa using my home wireless network and with my electricity back on, I thought I'd review some of the latest news about wireless and mobile computing:

According to InformationWeek's most recent Priorities survey of 300 business-technology managers, 39% said handheld devices were a priority for the coming quarter and 38% said wireless IP apps would be a priority... Shipments of PDAs are expected to grow 22% to 15.2 million units in 2005, according to Gartner. Eight PDA vendors consistently have been selling more than 100,000 units per quarter on a worldwide basis: Research In Motion, Palm, Hewlett-Packard, Nokia, Dell, T-Mobile, Acer, and Mitac/MioTech... Worldwide shipments of smart phones more than doubled in the second quarter, according to Canalys... Intel reported record shipments of microprocessors and flash memory used in cell phones and wireless chips... Cingular said it signed on 1.1 million new subscribers... Wireless music services will have about 50 million users worldwide by 2009, according to IDC... 64% of U.S. companies are upgrading or deploying wireless LANs this year, according to Forrester... Voice over Wi-Fi also is growing. Skype Technologies and Boingo Wireless recently launched a service that will let users make unlimited calls in Boingo's hot-spots for $7.95 per month... There are more than 65,000 Wi-Fi hot-spots around the world, according to JiWire... Microsoft's new Vista operating system (see p. 22) is adapting to the increase in mobile computing by delivering "bits and services across the Internet," CEO Steve Ballmer says.

I could go on and on. But you could turn to page 46 in our new Unplugged section to learn more. Got some hot mobile news? E-mail us from your PDA.

Stephanie Stahl

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