Taipei City’s Experiment: The Wireless City – 2007

By | January 27, 2007

Ron Brownlow in the Taipei Times writes about the challenges facing Taipei City’s WiFi company, Wifly. Taipei Times also covered this on January 19th.

Taipei City government may have rolled out plenty of WiFi stations, but the take-up rate has been less than enthusiastic…. So why aren’t people using Wifly?

The article attempts to answer the question:

  1. it’s quite expensive for Taipei,
  2. outdoor usage in summer and winter is not comfortable,
  3. there are multiple ways now to access the Internet via mobile phone service, in-home Internet and cable television accounts.
  4. WiMax isn’t available yet here.
  5. there’s no Ipod/MP3/PDA device that could stimulate such interest
  6. there are competitive local alternatives: Free-Up, Coffee shops offer free access to clients, etc.

However, despite the problems that face WiFly in Taiwan, I do see a wonderful future as wireless connections will replace a lot of fixed connections, it offers additional mobility advantages, and will allow easy connections for a variety of devices, not just pcs and mobile phones, provided stimulus comes from a must have device of some sort. Right now, it’s a hotchpotch of devices, with nothing really compelling – (Iphone?)

But for people who work on the ‘go’ such as John Chow, wireless internet should prove a tremendous boon because it will liberate you from much of the drudgery of traditional office work. I do think the challenge in that case will be simply to create and have access to your data on the go, instead of it all being stored in a hard disk at home or office.

Some form of online storage will be necessary, at least for important work files. I can’t imagine the form taking WebDAV as a standard, but I don’t see how Google Office will help either, since much of our data will need to be available in a variety of formats, not just the typical Office formats. Formats such as databases, picture formats, video formats, audio formats, presentations, emails, addresses, etc..

Wonder when, though?