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About WiFi Hotspots


History

Wi-Fi hotspots were first proposed by Brett Stewart at the NetWorld+Interop conference in The Moscone Center in San Francisco in August 1993. Stewart did not use the term 'hotspot' but referred to publicly accessible wireless LANs. Stewart went on to found the companies PLANCOM in 1994 (for Public LAN Communications, which became MobileStar and then the HotSpot unit of T-Mobile USA) and Wayport in 1996.

The term 'HotSpot' may have first been advanced by Nokia about five years after Stewart first proposed the concept.

During the dot-com boom and subsequent burst in 2000, dozens of companies had the notion that Wi-Fi could become the payphone for broadband. The original notion was that users would pay for broadband access at hotspots.

Both paid and free hotspots continue to grow. Wireless networks that cover entire cities, such as municipal broadband have mushroomed. MuniWireless reports that over 300 metropolitan projects have been started. WiFi hotspots can be found in remote RV / Campground Parks across the US.

Many business models have emerged for hotspots. The final structure of the hotspot marketplace will ultimately have to consider the intellectual property rights of the early movers; portfolios of more than 1,000 allowed and pending patent claims are held by some of these parties.




Uses

WiFi phone and laptops The public can use a laptop, WiFi phone, or other suitable portable device to access the wireless connection (usually Wi-Fi) provided. Of the estimated 150 million laptops, 14 million PDAs, and other emerging Wi-Fi devices sold per year for the last few years, most include the Wi-Fi feature.

For venues that have broadband Internet access, offering wireless access is as simple as purchasing one AP, in conjunction with a router and connecting the AP to the Internet connection. A single wireless router combining these functions may suffice.




Locations

Hotspots are often found at restaurants, train stations, airports, military bases, libraries, hotels, hospitals, coffee shops, bookstores, fuel stations, department stores, supermarkets, RV parks and campgrounds and other public places. Many universities and schools have wireless networks in their campus.






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