On Tuesday, iPass introduced a new Wi-Fi roaming service that is one of many data points in Wi-Fi’s slow transition from home networking tech for geeks to must-have for every mobile device to perhaps another source of carrier revenue. Will carriers charge for Wi-Fi?
Smartphones didn’t always have Wi-Fi but it is now the norm. Fifty percent of Android devices consume more than 500 MB of data monthly through Wi-Fi hotspots, much more than 3G data usage. That’s a lot of data on phones, superphones or not.
When the just-released iPad rivals your device for browser share, you know you have a problem. Research In Motion needs to expand beyond its email expertise and get a WebKit browser on its devices.
WeFi is a way to find a Wi-Fi hotspot that matches your requirements. There are over 56 million verified hotspots in the WeFi database. WeFi will show a map on your laptop or Android phone with all hotspots around you to help you get online fast.
Wi-Fi is, once again, the new hotness as netbooks and Wi-Fi-enabled phones proliferate. AT&T (s T) bought Wayport, expanding its Wi-Fi network to more than 80,000 worldwide. Verizon (s VZ) partnered with Boingo, bringing Wi-Fi networks to its FiOS and DSL customers. Cablevision’s (s cvc) Wi-Fi network has been very popular with its cable customers. Even FON, the Spanish Wi-Fi-sharing company with big-name backers, is still kicking around. But with Cablevision, AT&T, Verizon/Boingo, FON and T-Mobile (s dt) all running their own Wi-Fi networks, is there really a market — or even a need — for independent networks? Venture capitalists seem to think so.
WeFi, a “global open Wi-Fi network” that helps connect users with free Wi-Fi hotspots to make it easy to log in and get working, announced today that it raised an unannounced amount of cash in a series B, led by Lightspeed Venture Partners and Pitango Venture Capital. This follows its last round more than a year and a half ago. Earlier this year, JiWire raised $11 million from Panorama Capital, among others. That company specializes in delivering ads to users of free Wi-Fi hotspots, along with running a hotspot network of its own.