Archive for the ‘wifi’ Tag

Cell Phone Service Brought to You By…

It seems like advertising can pay for anything nowadays. We have free newspapers, free TV programs, free web services: all in exchange for an inundation of consumerism thrown at us from every angle. A few years ago the idea of a project on the web being able to support bandwidth for hundreds of thousands of 200+ MB each, HD video downloads seemed absurd, but thanks to some well placed advertising from domain registrars and liquor brands, video podcast Diggnation is doing just that.

We’ve even see ad-supported service provider models spring up (but not survive) like NetZero for free Internet access. So what industry might be next to give consumers free service thanks to advertising exposure? Stowe Boyd of /Message suggests it could be the cell phone industry.

In his post Boyd points out that ad-supported cellular content is already on the way in the United States, starting with MySpace as the first major site to offer such a model. Blyk will offer free, ad-supported mobile phone connection in the U.K. Is the U.S. next?

Unlike the U.K., which is currently beyond 100 percent mobile penetration — despite how little sense that makes (are people buying multiple cell contracts for themselves?) — the U.S. stands at 84 percent, says MocoNews. A free cellular provider might be exactly what the cell industry needs to gobble up the last bit of the U.S. population resisting the mobile market.

Google WiFi, free wireless Internet access for residents of Mountain View, Calif., is a good example of what we might see in ad-supported service providers. While Google WiFi doesn’t currently show ads, the model (especially when run by a technology advertising firm) is certainly there. I think we’ll be seeing big things in the next couple years in terms of ad-supported services.

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iPod touch: No Maps? No Problem

If you live in a city or college campus you’re no stranger to wi-fi. It’s everywhere. You can find a free hotspot at many restaurants and many campuses offer students access virtually anywhere.

So if there’s virtually always an Internet access point available, why would you buy an iPhone and subscribe to AT&T’s pricey, anywhere-web-access EDGE service? An iPod touch with wi-fi can be a worthwhile, affordable alternative.

But for whatever reason iPod touch is missing a few key features of iPhone. Aside from the absence of the 2 megapixel camera and the baffling choice not to include Notes, there’s a solution for the rest.

It’s Safari to the rescue. So bookmark these web sites on your iPod touch, and your iPod can be just like the big boys’.

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