New service could make your 3G phone a Wi-Fi hot spot

New service could make your 3G phone a Wi-Fi hot spot

Summary: Want to turn your Wi-Fi-enabled 3G phone into a wireless hot spot? A company called TapRoot Systems has launched a product that will enable you to do just that. There’s just one catch: The WalkingHotSpot service will be marketed to wireless carriers, who will then offer it to their subscribers.

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Want to turn your Wi-Fi-enabled 3G phone into a wireless hot spot? A company called TapRoot Systems has launched a product that will enable you to do just that. There’s just one catch: The WalkingHotSpot service will be marketed to wireless carriers, who will then offer it to their subscribers.

I spoke with Mike Linstrom, vice president of carrier solutions for TapRoot, and he says the company is in talks with several wireless carriers but is not yet ready to publicly announce any deals. I assume that carriers will charge extra for the service, and he says that’s a decision that each wireless company will make. (Sounds like a yes to me, since WalkingHotSpot users could consume considerably more 3G bandwidth.) “Carriers are different animals,” he says. “We’ll probably see a mixed approach as they roll it out.”

Linstrom says the company has had a lot of requests for public trials, and is very likely to offer that on a limited basis. “We want to show the end consumer that it does work, but from a carriers’ perspective, we would allow it only for a single Wi-Fi connection,” he says. Here's a link to sign up.

WalkingHotSpot initially will work only with Windows Mobile, Symbian 60, and Symbian UIQ phones, which Linstrom says account for roughly 75 percent of the smartphones on the market today. TapRoot is looking into adding support for OS X (the iPhone), as well.

Linstrom says the company expects that only up to five users at a time would connect to the 3G phone, although in the labs it has connected up to 20 devices. True 3G service will support voice calls and Wi-Fi simultaneously. Certain 2G networks, like EDGE and EVDO, however, will pause the Wi-Fi data connection during a voice phone call.

WalkingHotSpot could be an incredibly useful service to very small households. Many people are unplugging their landlines, and a solution such as WalkingHotSpot would enable them to unplug the broadband connection as well, yielding a single monthly data and phone bill. Trouble is, the broadband leaves the building when your phone does.

Topics: Wi-Fi, Hardware, Mobility, Networking, Telcos

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7 comments
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  • JoikuSpot: Now!

    [url=http://www.joikuspot.com/]FYI[/url] Have it on my Nokia N95. Works great--especially with my Nokia N800 and Pavilion Laptop as no bluetooth required and multiple devices can attach!
    D T Schmitz
    • why is this link opening my Linksys?

      I think the site(joikyspot) is trying to modify my firewall. Why is it doing this?
      nm32help
      • Can't answer your question--not enough info--sorry

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        D T Schmitz
  • RE: New service could make your 3G phone a Wi-Fi hot spot

    My 3G at&t phone is so slow, I can't imagine sharing the bandwidth
    Donn_z
  • Bye Bye battery life!

    My battery life is short enough, this is all I need to make it even worse!
    Narg
  • RE: New service could make your 3G phone a Wi-Fi hot spot

    This looks like a simple software program that runs on the phone. No need for the carrier to even know definitively. I would think that as long as the phone also has wifi, this could be a pretty simple app.

    I am actually surprised that this does not exist as a shareware type product. Does anybody know of one?

    Tom Daly
    tdaly001@...
  • RE: New service could make your 3G phone a Wi-Fi hot spot

    Just found this:
    http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=332360

    And it works. I do see the battery disappearing quickly, but I can see the utility.
    tdaly001@...