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Wi-Fi Goes Public

It seems that everywhere you go these days, the little Wi-Fi icon on your mobile device lights up to show that an access point is nearby. In fact, The Wireless Broadband Alliance predicts that the number of public Wi-Fi hotspots globally will grow more than fourfold, to 5.8 million, by 2015. This increasing availability of public hotspots is creating a new “nomadic” network to rival traditional mobile networks and support new mobile devices and their owners’ lifestyles (see blog posting “A New Type of Mobility”). Consumers now expect to have Wi-Fi access when they are sipping a latte in their favorite coffee shop, watching their team score the winning touchdown at the local stadium, or even when they are waiting in line to pay for their groceries.

To learn more about what consumers are doing with their mobile devices, and how and where they are using them, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) recently conducted a survey of U.S. mobile users. Following are our top three findings related to the use of public Wi-Fi: Read More »

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A New Type of Mobility

Mobile used to mean the connectivity service that you bought from your local mobile network operator that freed you from the wire connected to the wall. The rise of Wi-Fi has changed all that. Most mobile devices are now Wi-Fi-enabled (see blog posting “What Is a Mobile Device Anymore?”). Wi-Fi has broken the MNO’s monopoly of providing wireless freedom to consumers. While Wi-Fi may not provide all of the features of mobile cellular technology, consumers now have a choice in how they want to connect their devices wirelessly to the Internet – mobile cellular or Wi-Fi.

To learn more about what consumers are doing with their mobile devices, and how and where they are using them, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) recently conducted a survey of U.S. mobile users. Following are our top three findings related to mobile connectivity: Read More »

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What is a Mobile Device Anymore?

It used to be easy—mobile devices were brick-like devices that we carried with us to make phone calls.  Not anymore. Now we have smartphones, tablets, eReaders, and other devices that we bring everywhere and can’t seem to live without. No longer are we using them just for phone calls. In fact, they are now mobile computers, books, entertainment stations, game consoles, and social tools, in addition to our communications hubs. And, because Wi-Fi has become a prevalent way for many of these devices to connect to the Internet, they’re no longer strictly “mobile,” from a network perspective.

To learn more about what consumers are doing with their mobile devices, and how and where they are using them, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) recently conducted a survey of U.S. mobile users. Following are our top three findings related to mobile devices: Read More »

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Are You Aware of the Dangers Lurking in Free Apps?

Though fun and even useful, free apps can pose security risks to your users and your business

The old adage “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” has more than a kernel of truth to it when it comes to free applications. Free apps seem harmless, and they’re very tempting. Who doesn’t want a free version of Angry Birds? What’s wrong with a free banking app from your credit card company? But even if the app itself is legitimate and thoroughly vetted, it can still pose a security risk to the device it’s running on. Free apps are more dangerous to your employees and your network than they appear at first glance.

People can easily download a wide range of free apps for their smartphones and tablets as well as for your company’s computers. From wildly popular games like Angry Birds Space (which was downloaded three million times in only three days) to fitness trackers and social media tools, there’s a free app for anything anyone would want to do on his or her mobile device. Likewise, the Internet is teeming with free apps to customize desktops and work more easily. But the problem with free is that the program use is almost always paid for through advertising or information gathering—and it’s in those aspects where the danger often lies. Read More »

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Reshaping Retail with Mobility

It’s no secret that people are forming personal attachments to their iPhones, Android phones, and other “smartphone” devices.

In fact, in a recent Pew Research Center study, respondents used adjectives such as “awesome,” “great,” “essential,” “indispensable,” “good,” and “excellent” to describe how they feel about their treasured mobile devices.

This love affair is driving skyrocketing sales of smartphones: by 2015, eMarketer estimates that 58 percent of all mobile users in the United States (149 million people) will own smartphones, while in the European Union, more than 50 percent will own them by 2014. Read More »

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