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Old 04-18-2007, 06:57 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Silverado333 View Post
If I understand your replies correctly, would this mean that if I walk into a wi-fi zone, I have to change some setting on the BB in order to "reconnect" in that zone? Or would the mobile device "sense" entering a wi-fi zone, and configure itself automatically?
Allow me to draw a parallel using laptops:
If you're at home, you have to set up your laptop to connect to your home access point once, but whenever you come home again, your laptop should automatically detect and connect to that. If you go to a TMo hotspot, or a hotel that offers WiFi service, or your corporate offices that have WiFi, then again you would need to set up your device to connect once, but then every subsequent time, you shouldn't have to (assuming that you aren't paying for a time-limited key or something). I would expect that any handheld that also has WiFi in it would work the same. So say for instance you have your corporate and home WiFi networks configured on your device - while you're at work inside a building, you're on WiFi, and all your phone and BlackBerry services are delivered over UMA/GAN (which is essentially "GSM over WiFI") - you walk out of the building to grab lunch, and your device switches from WiFi to the cell network outside, and now all your services are delivered over EDGE (or EVDO, or whatever). You go home for the day, and your device connects to your home AP, and now all your services are delivered once again over WiFi.

Originally Posted by Silverado333 View Post
Is it assumed that the wi-fi zone connection is free, which is where the benefit of having the wi-fi capability lies?
Yes and no - using UMA/GAN, TMo would still be able to track your "data usage" as well as "voice minutes", however they will cut you a break, because while you're at home or at the office on your WiFi network, you *aren't* occupying a slot on their cell towers, which means someone else can, ergo you get fewer "unable to place call" errors or dropped calls when you hop from one cell to another, because they aren't all at 100% utilization. The Utopian vision is of course that you send your data and/or voice over a pure IP network and completely cut out the carrier in the process, therefore you only pay for minutes and data while you're on their cellular network, and if your device roams to your home AP (which, of course you're already paying some other service provider for the internet connection), you send everything for "free".

If this is a BlackBerry though, you still have to pay *someone* for the BB service - even if all the email is being delivered over the internet, it still eventually finds its way through RIM's servers (as last night's outage would demonstrate), and you have to pay RIM for that privilege.