A toy I want…

Last fall I tried to setup a portable net access system — bluetooth for the phone, computer and new pda. It wasn’t really successful, partly because of the nature of the phone backhaul (it was just like a very slow modem) and partly because it’s a pain to have to decide to connect every time.

What I’d really like is a cellphone that had both a good data back haul and a wifi card. I don’t need much power in the wifi card, so battery life shouldn’t be too much worse than with the current bluetooth. 100Kbps for the data would be ok, but Verizon’s 250/100 service would be even better. A little bit of routing software, and I’d have my own portable hotspot, open or closed, anywhere that I can get a decent cell signal. It’s possible to piece together bits of this right now, given a smartphone w/data and a SD or Compact Flash Wifi card. I’m not sure that the WindowsCE smartphones have the capability to do the routing. They certainly have the memory and processor power to pull it off.

I’m pretty sure that Tmobile would never go for this sort of thing, since it would directly cannibalize their wifi hotspot business. But a company like Verizon who’s getting a name for the fastest data channels might be able to take a bite out of the hotspot business with something like this.

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