January 18, 2006

New Dopod 818pro & peer-to-peer sharing of Internet access

Filed under: Technology — Administrator @ 4:52 pm

I bought the amazing Dopod 818pro two-weeks ago – by far one of the best PDA/mobile products I’ve seen on the market in some time. The 818’s usability, wireless capability, MS’s Mobile 5 and storage capacity are tremendous…

As a result, admittedly, I’m now addicted to the convenience of WiFi and (along with my colleague David) have made it our mission to identify all the WiFi Hot Spots in Shanghai. This must sound fanatical but for anyone who has recited this familiar phrase (made famous by US-based Verizon) while on their mobile, “can you hear me now”, you’ll understand the importance of fast, continuous connectivity.

Long and short, my WiFi impotence got me thinking about peer-to-peer network sharing – sort of the Holy Grail in the wireless universe – and whether there were any companies in China working on this. So, this morning, burning up the phones was I, reaching out to all the wireless guys I know in China to see if they had any information on companies working on peer-to-peer WiFi sharing applications.

My quest ended in disappointment – at least on the China end. Thanks to Google, I was directed to Jon Gordon’s public radio show, Future Tense, where I learned of two startups working on new peer-to-peer wireless technologies. Gordon writes:

Both Mushroom Networks of San Diego and WiBoost of Seattle plan to sell technology that will gather unused Internet capacity from neighbors. One possible roadblock is possible opposition from Internet service providers, which have fought the sharing of Internet connections in the past.

A couple thoughts: (1) I like how WiBoost mashed up Google maps into their homepage; (2) I’m not entirely clear on the how the applications work, but given China Mobile and Telecom’s virtual monopoly I wouldn’t imagine there would be that many roadblocks for this technology in China; and (3) I have some lingering questions about security/encryption


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