Feature Article

May 03, 2014

Mobility Techzone Week in Review

As the rising popularity of mobile devices skyrockets, the Internet is slowly creeping into our daily lives as a tool of increasing importance and function. Email is read and answered with the same speed as a text message, shopping at the store now includes price checking products against prices on Amazon and Internet accessibility is spreading out to more and more places to facilitate this lifestyle. As always, wherever there is progress there is money to be made, and the past week alone has been an exciting flurry of business opportunity in the world of mobile technology.

One Interesting mobile provider that has been turning heads is FreedomPop, a company that offers cheap or even free service for smartphones so long as the customer paid the initial (quite reasonable) fee. The company previously only dealt with Android phones, but just this week FreedomPop made the announcement that they would now offer a free iPhone 5 plan, which includes 200 voice minutes, 500 texts and 500mb of data per month. Though the phone and plan will cost $349 initially, there are no contracts or monthly fees associated with it.

Wireless carriers were also put on blast this week, as a recent survey of 911 dispatchers has found that they have a difficult time pinpointing the location of cellular users, especially indoors. They claimed that even VoIP calls, which have in the past been notoriously difficult to locate due to the fact that the calls are routed through the Internet instead of the PTSN, are easier to track down than indoor cellular calls. There are countless emergency situations where a caller might not be able to speak, and as more people drop landline services in favor of cellular, this becomes an increasingly dangerous problem because location services are spotty when used indoors.

Wireless Internet is also becoming integrated in new places, and literally going to new heights with the announcement that AT&T would be launching their own in-flight Wi-Fi service. Though primarily aimed at providing on-board entertainment during long plane flights, the company has also promised to extend services to include cockpit communications, maintenance operations and even crew services on the 4G network. AT&T will be building a new air-to-ground network to support the service, which they expect to be ready in late 2015.

Rural Ontario will also be experiencing an enhanced mobile Internet experience, as a partnership between Silo Wireless and Tazca Connects promises to bring a 4G LTE Rural Wireless Network to the counties surrounding Ontario. This network will allow rural companies to piggyback their own IT infrastructure, and the affordable price will be a boon for individuals, schools and businesses.

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