People love Wi-Fi access to the Internet. More and more, they are using the wireless connection technology at Starbucks cafés, in airport lounges and at home. Wi-Fi seems irresistible because it makes the Net available to users anytime, anywhere. It provides fast communications links that allow e-mail messages to appear almost instantly and Web pages to paint computer screens quickly–all with the mobility and freedom that has made cell phones nearly ubiquitous.
Wi-Fi and other wireless communications technologies are growing–and changing–dramatically. More and more people in the U.S. and elsewhere are abandoning landline telephone service in favor of wireless cell phones, and municipal governments such as Philadelphia’s are creating citywide Wi-Fi coverage areas. Meanwhile the use of third-generation (3G) cellular telephony is on the upswing, and a new wireless technology called WiMAX may soon have a strong presence in the market. Increasingly, we are living in a wireless world.