Infrastructure
News
9/19/2007
11:38 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

Wi-Fi To The Rescue For The iPhone In U.K. And Germany

T-Mobile, which will be distributing the iPhone in Germany, noted that it is the biggest provider of Wi-Fi in the world, with more than 20,000 global hotspots and 8,600 of them in Germany alone.

As Steve Jobs continued his European barnstorming tour in Berlin, introducing the iPhone to applauding audiences, it is becoming apparent just how important Wi-Fi is for the success of the phone.

As the Apple CEO and Deutsche Telekom's T-Mobile unveiled the combo mobile phone, iPod music player, and Internet surfing device Wednesday, T-Mobile noted that it is the biggest provider of Wi-Fi in the world, with more than 20,000 global hotspots and 8,600 of them in Germany alone. T-Mobile's hotspots are familiar to U.S. users who frequent Starbucks coffee houses.

T-Mobile noted that its Wi-Fi users can get download speeds of 11 Mbps compared with about 220 Kbps over its EDGE network. T-Mobile said also that it would offer EDGE networking service throughout its entire network in Germany by the end of the year.

While the EDGE network serves subscribers well for mobile phone calls, it is slow for downloading data; users can download data and multimedia content quickly over Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi is even more important for iPhone users in the U.K. where, according to media reports, the exclusive iPhone provider O2 covers just 30% of the British population. To help make up for the skimpy coverage, subscribers will be offered free connections to Wi-Fi provider the Cloud, which operates more than 7,500 Wi-Fi hotspots in the U.K.

Jobs has indicated that the iPhone will be able to take advantage of more robust networks as they are deployed in Europe and the U.S. Wi-Fi's successor technology, WiMax, already is being rolled out globally and is expected to pick up momentum in 2008, for instance.

The iPhones introduced in Europe essentially match the device that was unveiled three months ago in the United States. There were no pricing surprises in Europe, either: the 8-Gbyte model is priced at $553 in Germany and at $536 in the U.S. Both phones are scheduled to be offered in the U.K. and Germany beginning Nov. 9.

So far, there haven't been any major iPhone coverage surprises in Europe -- O2 and T-Mobile were long expected to be the winners of exclusive rights to market the device. Next stop for Jobs is likely to be France, where the Orange network is reported to have been selected as the exclusive provider in that country.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
2014 Next-Gen WAN Survey
While 68% say demand for WAN bandwidth will increase, just 15% are in the process of bringing new services or more capacity online now. For 26%, cost is the problem. Enter vendors from Aryaka to Cisco to Pertino, all looking to use cloud to transform how IT delivers wide-area connectivity.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest - August 20, 2014
CIOs need people who know the ins and outs of cloud software stacks and security, and, most of all, can break through cultural resistance.
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.