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WSJ: New way to surf the web gives cell carriers static

In a page one article in this morning’s Wall St. Journal, Jesse Drucker and Julia Angwin report on how Wi-Fi’s rapid expansion is slowing success for wireless data services from cellular carriers.

While Wi-Fi poses problems for cable companies and conventional phone carriers selling high-speed Internet access, it has the potential to be a major headache for the cellphone business. Cellular carriers have spent billions of dollars over the past two years upgrading their networks to accommodate higher data speeds, and they are betting that consumers will send e-mail, browse the web and make use of other applications from their new phones, laptops and hand-held devices. But now an insurgent technology has come along to threaten that strategy — just as Napster and the Internet itself sprang up from grass-roots followings to challenge the economic models of giant media and technology companies.

The 802.11b technology is becoming more widely available. Too bad the security issues associated with using this technology haven’t been dealt with.

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