Mercury News | 03/19/2003 | Dan Gillmor: Newest phones show promise of wireless "It's just a whisper right now, but there are signs that the mobile carriers -- which pretty much control what the handset makers do -- are considering a radical notion: They may embrace WiFi, the local-area wireless networking standard, instead of reacting with their standard fear and loathing when confronted with new technologies.
Here's why. It's hugely expensive to put in new infrastructure for wireless communications, such as the base stations and towers the carriers install today.
Suppose your mobile phone automatically sensed a WiFi network in your home or business and automatically switched to that network, using Internet telephone technology? The carriers might save on infrastructure costs, and mobile phone users would be more inclined to drop their land lines.
Now this isn't going to happen overnight, even if the carriers wise up, for technological as well as cultural reasons. But the potential is there. Let's see who goes first."