Digital News Tech, hotspots, intenet, mobiles, phone masts, smartphones, SXSW, Wi-Fi — March 16, 2012 12:51 — 1 Comment
Wi-Fi is drawing power from mobile phone masts – and humans
Most internet traffic on smartphones is carried by
It’s time to
Even more controversially, at this year’s SXSW interactive festival (SXSWi), which wrapped on Tuesday, ‘homeless hotspots’ were used to provide conference goers with a quick web fix, all in the name of ‘charity’.
Set up by BBH Labs (part of marketing and advertising firm Bartle Bogle Hegarty) Homeless Hotspots was billed as “a charitable experiment” with Front Steps Shelter to equip people registered with the organisation with 4G MiFi devices wearing a
It sounds like a similar initiative to the Big Issue magazine sellers seen in most large cities and towns in the UK.
The homeless people stood beside conference goers to provide internet via a MiFi devices which connect to the internet via the 4G phone network and offer web access via a
“Homeless Hotspots is a charitable innovation initiative — it attempts to modernize the Street Newspaper model employed to support homeless populations,’ said BBH, via statement. “As digital media proliferates, these newspapers face increased pressure. Our hope is to create a modern version of this successful model, offering homeless individuals an opportunity to sell a digital service instead of a material commodity.”
But the campaign has been criticised for promoting greater social inequality, among other things. “You can guess what happens next, “writes Jon Mitchell on ReadWriteWeb. “You pay these homeless, human hotspots whatever you like, and then I guess you sit next to them and check your email and whatnot. The digital divide has never hit us over the head with a more blunt display of unselfconscious gall.”
Whatever the moral consequences of the SXSWi ‘experiment’, “even for phone users,
She says that in the UK in January 2012, only 19% of all internet traffic on smartphones was transmitted by a mobile network, according to researchers at Informa. They worked with Mobidia, whose app measures how much of your data allowance your phone has used up. The information was drawn from about a third of Mobidia’s 600,000 users.
The wider implications of how or where we get our
Globally, Mobidia found 70% of smartphone internet traffic is carried by
Informa says this is helped by the fact that they already have superfast mobile broadband, but more importantly because customers are sold generously sized or unlimited data plans at competitive prices.
Informa analyst Thomas Wehmeier, author of Understanding Today’s Smartphone User, published in February, said: “The expansion of
When the London Underground finally provides a phone signal for passengers it will be
Of course we still need 4G networks, says Garside. A signal that works without having to fiddle about with passwords is always going to be worth paying more money for. For many rural householders, whose homes are difficult to reach with fibre cables, the technology offers the best chance of a fast internet signal.
But, in all major cities it is