I actually saw this in Tom's blog. Mobile operators face wi-fi challenge. The crux of the article is here
The UK's mobile phone networks will come under attack today as wireless internet provider The Cloud announces a low-cost tariff for unlimited web access, making it easier for people to make free calls through the web from big cities, rather than use their mobile phones.
The Cloud is Europe's biggest operator of wireless technology, commonly called wi-fi, and its network is used by companies including BT, O2 and Nintendo. It is offering an £11.99 a month “all you can eat” internet deal covering 7,000 hotspots in Britain.
That will allow low-cost internet telephony in cities including London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham. Using the internet to make calls has already disrupted the business models of fixed-line telecoms operators such as France Télécom.
And my feelings are, that this is a good thing. Competition is great for the market and this may shake the hold Orange, O2, Vodafone, 3 and Tmobile currently have on the wireless/mobile space. Yes I'll still be paying some other corp for the access but hey I don't mind paying for Wifi if its in 75 percent of the places I go in London. And to be honest 11.99 per month isn't bad if your out and about a lot. Compare it to GPRS or even 3G data costs and 11.99 for a months worth of unlimited data is a bargin. Even compared to a broadband connection of say 20 pounds per month its actually not that bad. Some people may beable to even dump there broandband connection if they live close enough to a hotspot and the service is reliable (big question that).
Theres no douht in my mind that central London is pretty much covered with Wifi but funny enough even out in SE18 there is a selection of wifi near myself. One of those pubs is only 2mins away from my house.
Hey there is a reason why I picked a phone which supports Wifi out of the box. Skype may not run well on it yet, but give it time, plus lets not forget theres other VOIP solutions and always online instant messenger sounds great to myself. Once there is a symbian version of Skype the required cpu speed will drop and my phone will run skype like a dream. Till then I still have my wifi ipaq which runs Skype right now.
Don't forget to sign up if your interested in 11.99 pound unlimited wifi.