Last year, Alan Masarek made news as he left Google to become Vonage’s new CEO.
In my perfect world, I would be able to connect to the Internet whenever, and wherever I am for free. Even though free universal Internet connection sounds far fetched, that’s exactly what the city of Los Angeles intends to do. If everything goes as planned, residents of Los Angeles will be able to stream data from any device anywhere in the city, with no direct costs to the user.
This idea was proposed back in August by city councilman Bob Blumenfield. A committee is now deliberating on how the city of Los Angeles would implement the municipal Wi-Fi system. The most likely avenue that the city will take in providing city wide Wi-Fi is a series of localized hotspots. Los Angeles will be not only the newest, but also the largest addition to the 57 cities that currently offer their residents a free municipal Wi-Fi service. Having free, unlimited access to Wi-Fi will bring with it much larger changes than anyone would have ever expected.
The rise of free mobile Internet will bring the fall of mobile cellular carriers as we know them. When Internet becomes universal and free, so does the ability to take advantage of mobile VoIP services. Currently, mobile VoIP services are mostly an add-on service or an included feature of other VoIP packages. However, once the accessibility to mobile Internet changes, so will the influence of mobile VoIP.
Any product with a microphone, speaker, and Wi-Fi capabilities can potentially become a primary use mobile phone with zero monthly costs. The mobile VoIP experts at TheDigest.com predict an explosion of Mobile VoIP services in the next five years. As access to Wi-Fi becomes ubiquitous, people everywhere will abandon their cell phone carriers in favor of Mobile VoIP services. Making phone calls over the Internet is much cheaper, and much more effective than using conventional landline or cellular services. The only problem with mobile VoIP has been a lack of a reliable widespread Internet connection, but as that problem is solved, VoIP usage will drastically expand.
Bob Blumenfield, the champion of Los Angeles municipal Wi-Fi, claimed that access to Internet is a critical component of a modern accessible government. This is all being done to help expand access to Internet in order to help reduce the digital divide. The city of Los Angeles claims that it does not intend to put Internet providers out of business. However, they are taking one of the first steps towards taking the market share of mobile phone use out of the hands of cellular providers, and putting into the hands of Mobile VoIP.