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Want free Wi-Fi? Check your Windows Phone 8

Microsoft is helping users take advantage of the free wireless networking nodes that have sprung up over the past several years. The newest version of its smart phone, Windows Phone 8,  will let its users know the locations of the nodes near them, which could be helpful for government mobile users.

Microsoft is using a database of free Wi-Fi sites maintained by Wi-Fi software vendor Devicescape that keeps track not only of the locations of these nodes, but also the level of connectivity users have experienced in each one. This will allow users not only to find the closest free wireless access points, but also the ones that are the most reliable. 

In the United States, the service will at first be available only to Verizon Wireless subscribers, which is unfortunate for customers of other carriers. But at some point the exclusive deal will end, and the service will be available on all carriers.

Still, this service actually helps everyone. It helps the end users because it will give them the option of hopping on a nearby hot spot to save some monthly bandwidth. It will help the carrier, at first Verizon, since it could mean a lighter load on an already crowded network. And it makes Microsoft look good because it should be a good addition to the user experience.

Next, Verizon should credit  the bills of unlimited-plan users who access Wi-Fi on a regular basis. That would definitely be an incentive for more users to sacrifice a little transfer speed.

Posted by Greg Crowe on Nov 14, 2012 at 9:39 AM


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