Dual Mode WiFi/GSM phones … coming to a handset near you.

Both Alec Saunders and Jon Arnold have commented on a KTVU news item video where Andy is interviewed about dual mode WiFi/GSM phones. Andy points out that he could not demonstrate on his Nokia E61 in the hotel where he was interviewed because of the requirement for a login page. A week ago I commented on the need for a simple login page that was “mobile” optimized until an automated authorization-authentication protocol is worked out for mobile WiFi access.

Turns out that Montreal-based provider of hotel-based WiFi services, Intello (formerly iHotel), has taken one step in the right direction by “mobile optimizing” their initial user page. I have often used my evaluation Nokia N91 Personal Entertainment Assistant to simply and discretely detect the presence of a WiFi signal in a hotel lobby or coffee shop. When you start up the N91’s web browser at a location serviced by iHotel, you get the mobile-optimized page shown on the right; simply enter the access code given by the front desk attendant and “Voilà”! Not a totally seamless switchover but the entire form fits within one screen. Were this my Dell Axim I could start using Skype Mobile. (Is Skype developing a Skype for Symbian?)

According to the AT&T spokesperson in the video, we can expect to see a seamless dual mode carrier operation at some time in 2007.

About Jim Courtney

Bringing over thirty years' experience in the sales, marketing and management of cutting edge technology businesses.

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