Cable is discovering the joys of Wi-Fi; why not mobile?

An alternate wireless network has been emerging in the U.S., one not built by the mobile operators but by cable providers. Cablevision, Time Warner Cable, and Comcast have all launched reams of Wi-Fi hotspots in their MSO footprints, and last week Bright House joined the club.

Vid-Biz: Soulja Boy, Outrigger, Visible Gains

Soulja Boy Arrested; YouTube-driven star was apparently shooting a music video in a vacant house. (Associated Press)

Warner Music Group Outsources Ad Sales; the label using Veoh spin-off Outrigger Media to monetize online video. (AdAge)

PermissionTV Renames Itself Visible Gains; company drops out of competition with Brightcove and thePlatform to focus on B2B marketing. (Contentinople)

Netflix Subscribers Go for Value; today’s most popular plans are the lowest-priced ones (which include unlimited streaming); CEO says traditional DVDs will be king for only two more years. (Video Business)

Microsoft Gives Smooth Streaming to Everyone; IIS Media Services 3.0 released today, same as what’s already been used for Sunday Night Football and Wimbledon. (Silverlight blog)

YouTube Close to Signing Channel 4; British broadcaster would give the site full episodes and sell its own ads. (Telegraph) In other premium content news, the site got (U.S. only) access to Taxi Driver yesterday via its relationship with Sony’s Crackle. (YouTube blog)

Suddenly, Verizon Loves Wi-Fi — What’s That Apple Tablet Got To Do With It?

[qi:gigaom_icon_routers] Verizon (s VZ) said today that it’s inked a partnership with Wi-Fi hotspot service provider Boingo Wireless that will allow its broadband customers to use Boingo hotspots across the country, an agreement that was first reported by The Wall Street Journal back in May. The New York-based phone giant has been somewhat of a flip-flopper when it comes to playing nice with Wi-Fi, always insisting that its 3G wireless networks are better. Regardless, Boingo is the one that’s laughing all the way to the bank. Read More about Suddenly, Verizon Loves Wi-Fi — What’s That Apple Tablet Got To Do With It?

Wi-Fi, a Big Hit on Mobile Phones

Given the spotty nature of AT&T’s 3G Network I have often found myself switching on my Apple (s AAPL) iPhone’s WiFi connection, signing up to one of the hot-spots (using Devicescape’s Easy Wi-Fi iPhone Client) to send emails, surf the web and of course make cheap phone calls using the Truphone client. Apparently, I am not the only one — people love WiFi-based Internet access on their phones, according to a recent report by San Mateo, Calif.-based mobile advertising company, Admob.

They say that in November, about 8 percent of total requests were coming from WiFi networks, versus 3 percent in August. No surprise, 42 percent of iPhone requests are made from WiFi, notably higher than most other WiFi capable phones which average between 10-20 percent. I think that is because AT&T’s (s T) 3G service has the unpredictability of Lindsay Lohan’s mood that we instead opt for WiFi. It is good that AT&T splurged on Wayport, a WiFi service provider and saved us a whole lot of waiting. In UK, Nokia’s N Series are pretty popular behind iPhone and iPod Touch, the Nokia N95 and other N series phones are the leading WiFi devices.

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AT&T Buys Wayport to Keep iPhone Users Happy

Today AT&T said it would buy Wayport, an operator of Wi-Fi hotspots around the country, for $275 million in cash. The deal brings AT&T 80,000 Wi-Fi hotspots all over the country, which will help offload bandwidth-clogging traffic, driven by Wi-Fi enabled phones, from its 3G network.

Dell to follow HP and produce low-cost notebook

CEO of Dell, Michael Dell, wasted no time following HP’s introduction of the Mini-Note to proclaim that Dell will be producing their own competitor this year.  Dell stated that they will introduce a laptop similar to the HP Mini that we’ll see in the next two quarters. 

"We do see opportunitiesfor very interesting products that are smaller and lighter and addressthe more mobile users in a very cost-effective way," he said, addingthe laptops would "fit into the category" of targeting a market forchildren.

Starbucks Starts Wi-Fi Debates, Breakfast Battles Heat Up

Local coffee shopAll the news this week about Starbucks changing wi-fi service providers and offering anyone with a Starbucks Card two free hours of wi-fi access has started a fresh dialogue surrounding wireless Internet access. That is, your local independent coffee houses are jumping up and down saying, “Hey! The wi-fi is free (and always has been) over here!”

As you may know, independent coffee shops have long offered wi-fi as an attractant for business people, road warriors, and web workers to get them in the door. For the longest time, many coffee drinkers and wi-fi seekers chose the independent houses because getting online used to cost $6-$10 an hour at Starbucks.

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