Neither iPhone or OpenMoko are revolutionary

Attila Csipa plists at
Thu Jan 18 08:13:17 CET 2007

On Thursday 18 January 2007 02:17, Renaissance Man wrote:
> Anything that allows me to go from spending £45 plus a month on
> mobile communications to effectively zero, including talking to my
> parents who live on the other side of the planet, is revolutionary.

Don't forget that carriers have PLENTY of headroom on their prices and they 
happen to control their networks. So, if things get rough, and you do come up 
with a _vastly_ popular scheme to do cheaper communications (can't underline 
how vast this must be), they will accomodate. They will introduce new 
dialplans, might lock such FreeFi capable phones out and subsidize their 
phones even harder, etc. So the money potential you see here is just a result 
of their business plan, it isn't inherent in the WiFi+VoIP technology, and 
that's the KEY on this issue (you're just taking a shortcut, GSM really is 
far better suited for voice+phones). Business plans can be changed in an 
hour, hardware cannot, and that's where many telecom battles are lost.

Actually, for me ATM it's FAR cheaper to buy a GSM module (they cost <50 euros 
nowadays), hook it up to my PC and declare it a family member number 
(=covered by flat rate subscription) and I could talk to Japan 3 hours a day 
without any extra cost. And wham - a simple ancient tech GSM link that is 
cheaper to operate than a WiFi capable phone, just by having a family member 
number dialplan. You will lose weeks and months making the WiFi hardware, 
testing the software and it went down in flames in the minute a carrier 
decided to make/change a dialplan. So WiFi from a business standpoint is good 
only where GSM can't go - and thats endless megabits in ethernet traffic, not 
voice (if you have it, cool, but it's not worth JUST for VoIP).

What I don't get is why do you need WiFi (as in 801.b/g) for all of this, and 
why you cannot do this (in a work/home scenario) with Bluetooth as it is now? 
I understand the pleas of people who have poor GSM coverage, but they will 
always have to live with the technology that is available in the mainstream 
and accomodate to the environment they're in, just as I have to accomodate 
that the nearest WiFi hotspot is 300km+ away :)

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