Verizon Planning to Use Wi-Fi to Supplement 3G, 4G
Speaking at the TIA conference this week, Verizon Communications CTO Tony Melone said that the company hopes to offload some data traffic from its cellular data networks to W-Fi. Melone said that Verizon is hoping to get users to transition from cellular data services to Wi-Fi data when in their homes, or large public places such as sports arenas. "We won’t use it ubiquitously to cover up flaws and capacity limitations," Melone said. "In my mind it is much more effective to invest in your 3G and 4G environments than rely on Wi-Fi." The strategy is one similar to that taken by AT&T, which has lit up enormous public spaces -- such as New York City's Times Square area -- with Wi-Fi in the hopes of reducing cellular network congestion. Earlier this year, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced a new program that will eventually lead to fewer hotspot log-in headaches for users of Wi-Fi equipped devices. The hotspot program will facilitate the seamless handoff of cellular traffic from smartphones, tablets, and other portable devices to Wi-Fi networks. It will let Wi-Fi users more easily find networks and log into those networks securely with WPA2 authentication. Verizon didn't specifically say it would rely on this program for its Wi-Fi offloading plans.