WiFi in a North American city
July 4th, 2007

The Toronto Star explores the current state of municipal wireless connectivity in that city. The aim is to understand why cloud growth is slower than planned, and covers a series of issues.

An interesting angle is that companies might be seeing WiFi as a thing of the past:

One reason private companies may have been slow to the metro-WiFi market: it may not be such a good idea.

David Robinson, vice-president of business implementation at Rogers, said while WiFi worked well in locations like coffee shops, it would provide spotty coverage in areas crowded by trees and concrete. And it makes little sense to invest in the technology when its next incarnation, WiMax, is what the techies are buzzing about.

WiMax works much like WiFi, but can cover kilometres instead of metres and offer exponentially faster download times.

“I simply cannot comprehend why anyone would build a metropolitan WiFi network when WiMax is right around the corner, unless they’re looking for a tax loss,” Robinson said.

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