Yesterday’s news of AT&T purchasing the Wayport WiFi hotspot network has many folks wondering what other WiFi networks think of the deal. With over 100,000 worldwide locations, Boingo is one of the largest WiFi networks and their CEO, Dave Hagan, chimed in with this comment on the news:
"From an industry perspective, it’s great that AT&T sees Wi-Fi as a great complement to 3G networks. Carriers should bundle Wi-Fi with 3G to provide a better user experience and offload expensive data usage to cheaper, faster Wi-Fi networks. At Boingo, we have seen carriers and cable companies moving quickly to assure they have a Wi-Fi service offering; naturally, that leads to the kind of industry consolidation exemplified by AT&T buying Wayport, our own acquisition of both Concourse Communications and Sprint’s Wi-Fi network.”
Since nationwide wireless broadband technically doesn’t offer coverage nationwide, WiFi is fast becoming a way to fill in the gaps. I expect we’ll see even more consolidation between WiFi and the carriers until full LTE and WiMAX rollouts get completed over the next five or more years here in the U.S. This is also another reason I personally won’t buy a 3G phone without WiFi at this point… a topic we’ve asked you about in the past.