A greater number of Wi-Fi hotspots with free access will prove to be the future of wireless communications on computer equipment in the UK, according to one industry commentator.
Edd Dawson, managing director of broadband.co.uk, notes an announcement from mobile operator O2 that it is working to create a network of Wi-Fi access points throughout the UK.
"Potentially, they're trying to get people off mobile broadband and on to a Wi-Fi connection," he suggests.
"That could be one of the reasons that they're doing it for free."
As well as improving performance for Wi-Fi users - including those with support for the protocol on their mobile phones - the move could also help other forms of wireless communications.
For instance, bandwidth available on the 3G network for mobile telephony could increase as more traffic is offloaded to Wi-Fi infrastructure.
However, Mr Dawson predicts that private home broadband connections will still remain popular among consumers who want guaranteed bandwidth to themselves.
Posted by Michael Lowe