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Robust cell/Wi-Fi hardware just now appearing: Nancy Gohring of IDG News Service reports from the Fixed Mobile Convergence Conference in London that the components to make cellular and Wi-Fi work in the same handsets reliably are just now arriving. While there are devices already on the market, analysts are saying that the real goods have just started to appear: mature, next-generation chipsets, back-end software for cell operators, and other components.
There are few plans available from operators, which might indicate the market’s nascent stage, and customers aren’t demanding it yet—probably because it’s hard to articulate. It’ll be another year before all the stars align, analysts say.
Their new chipset will allow video on VoIP phones using Wi-Fi for transport: It includes a specialized chip for video processing, its b/g single-chip silicon, and a mobile VoIP processing chip.
At the Consumer Electronics Show, NetGear demonstrated its Wi-Fi phone to make Skype calls: The phone apparently has no special authentication, so will only work at locations that require only a simple encryption key or offer free service. Although Boingo and other hotspot chains have deals with Skype for cheaper VoIP-only access, none of the NetGear coverage mentions this arrangement.