Weekly Contest - Wi-Fi and Carriers


With the impending BlackBerry 8820 coming, concerns are growing about how carriers will change their billing model to accommodate the new data pipe. No doubt the feature will enhance the flexibility with which owners can use their BlackBerrys, but carriers still need to have their hand in your pocket to keep business going. As something we’re generally used to having open access to, the very idea of someone charging a premium just to connect to your own wireless network seems profoundly absurd. Is it possible that they’ll meter data traffic, even if it’s on a completely separate service? More optimistically, there’s the option for savings - carriers which also offer internet access could toss in free BlackBerry Wi-Fi as a bundled deal. So, BBCool readers, this week we ask: how will carriers adapt to Wi-Fi on handhelds? Will it be an opportunity to milk the cash cow, or a nice perk to throw users’ way? Or will it not change a thing? This week’s winner will win 3 ringtones from Bplay.

LAST WEEK’S WINNER is David, for giving us a clear view of Austrlia’s wireless landscape, and why a 3G BlackBerry down under is an entirely likely possibility. We’ll set you up with your three games from Bplay post-haste. To everybody else who posted, thanks for your two cents, and we’ll hopefully see you again this week!

4 Responses to “Weekly Contest - Wi-Fi and Carriers”

  1. 1 JEF

    Initially the carriers will try to charge extra for it, but I don’t think that will last long. Competition ultimately drives prices down to marginal cost and that’s what I expect to happen here too. Look at SMS. They were once very expensive and now you get unlimited messages for $10 a month or less.

    Also, WiFi may ultimately benefit the carriers by lowering their costs. Think about using WiFi VOIP on the weekends or at night. Who really benefits at that time since we get unlimited minutes anyway? The consumer gets no benefit but the carrier reduces the load on the network.

    WiFi is just one more factor driving the market to a pay one price for unlimited minutes/text/data model.

  2. 2 Bob Kosin

    This will only enhance in-home coverage providing another opportunity to access carrier supported data $ites. It’s no longer about voice.

  3. 3 Jason

    I think that this is an alarming topic. I’m against making suggestions to companies about how they can charge me more. T-Mobile system for WIFI, only charges you if you’re using their ‘hotspot’ is my understanding. This makes it free if you never connect to them. This seems to be the most fair. If I don’t use your connection I shouldn’t have to pay to use a feature of my phone. . .I already paid for that at the begining.

  4. 4 tjhood

    I paid for the phone which contains the Wi-Fi chip.
    I paid for the wireless router.
    I paid for the internet connection.

    but my cellular service provider wants a cut of the deal. for what I ask.

    From another angle,

    I pay for a laptop
    I have a Wi-Fi capability in my laptop
    I purchase a PCMCIA phone card for my laptop

    I’m sitting at home using my Wi-Fi browsing the net over my router threw a completely different service.

    should my cell phone service provider get a cut.
    It is just ignorant, they aren’t providing a service. If I use there network then yea but I’m not paying someone for something they aren’t doing anything to gain. It’s like the mafia. Seriously that should be criminal.

    So do I buy the Blackberry Curve which has a camera or do I purchase a 8820 without a camera and a Wi-Fi battery eatting feature ultimately has been crippled by greed.

    Oh no they are going to charge us for each picture we take now I bet.. I’m giving them ideas.

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