Wi-Fi access is turning from a human want into a human need. It is creeping up the hierarchy, just below necessities like food, shelter, and clothing — all of which people can depend on the Internet to procure. Internet dependency has now split into two distinct facets. People are realizing that having Wi-Fi access is not the same as owning Wi-Fi access.
Mobile hotspots are the way to go for people who find themselves with intermittent connectivity. A person constantly on the move, perhaps travelling long distances, cannot rely on the Wi-Fi hotspots they pass. All the several thousand of them. There are countless doors to the Internet, and creating more continues to become easier.
Professionals from Bright Wi-Fi say that mobile carriers are now providing their customers with faster and more affordable ways to take advantage of their data plans. They mention how the majority of smartphones today have a Wi-Fi hotspot-tethering feature, and that users are slowly but surely getting into the groove of turning their phones into Internet access points themselves.
Devices that once relied on external connectivity have developed into autonomous cellular data machines, and eventually into the external connectivity lower-tech devices rely on. With Wi-Fi tethering, standalone phones become ‘stand together’ hotspots, the potential of which may be too high for some consumers to responsibly handle.
Just recently, a suspicious mobile hotspot SSID (network name) caused delays on one Qantas flight to Perth. Passengers who noticed the hotspot ‘Mobile Detonation Device’ prompted the flight crew to deplane, and it took about two hours for the flight to resume. Authorities were unable to find the person who owned the malicious Wi-Fi hotspot, since its signals are impossible to trace with access to the network itself.
A travel prank is only a fringe case of what irresponsible Wi-Fi hotspot ownership can bring. But, for the most part, complete autonomy as to when and where a person can access the Internet is a travel delight; one that will soon characterise all of technology.