Crafty Vendors Stretch Wi-Fi Options for Users

At the Symbian Smartphone Show, software vendors demonstrate new ways to deliver Wi-Fi to new users and in new areas. TapRoot Systems' WalkingHotSpot and extend the concept of Wi-Fi to make wireless access more cost-effective and more broadly available.

LONDON-Users hot for Wi-Fi hot spots need look no further than a couple of nifty software solutions that help spread the wealth when it comes to Wi-Fi access.

At the Symbian Smartphone Show here, both TapRoot Systems and demonstrated solutions that help users get Wi-Fi access in innovative, cost-effective ways.

TapRoot Systems said its WalkingHotSpot transforms Windows Mobile 6 and S60 3G/Wi-Fi smart phones into "walking" hot spots. Users can securely retrieve e-mails and browse the Internet on Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as laptops and MP3 players. Wireless subscribers can forget about data cards, cables, dongles and multiple service and hot-spot plans, because WalkingHotSpot allows the option of consolidating connectivity subscriptions and expenses into one economical solution.

Click here to read about the Xirrus Wi-Fi Monitor utility for Linux desktops.

In addition to appearing at the Symbian show, the WalkingHotSpot team is touring Europe to promote the technology.

"WalkingHotSpot was launched as a beta trial earlier this year, and Europe has proven to be one of our top markets," said Bob Bicksler, CEO of TapRoot Systems. "Combining the proliferation of smart phones in Europe with the mature 3G infrastructure makes a strong user scenario for WalkingHotSpot. We see Europe as a significant market for this application. With WalkingHotSpot, users can feel confident they have a reliable, secure, inexpensive and readily available Internet connection wherever and whenever they need it."

TapRoot Systems officials said Symbian OS and Microsoft Windows Mobile smart-phone users can purchase WalkingHotSpot for a one-time fee of $24.99 for the lifetime of the phone or as a monthly plan for $6.99. A seven-day free trial is available to new users, the company said., which also demonstrated its wares at the conference, provides software that, when loaded onto a laptop or mobile device, automatically detects and qualifies all Wi-Fi access points within range and connects the user to the spot with the best Internet connection. If the WeFi software detects a new access point, it allows the user to be the first to map it. WeFi also provides users with instant messaging tools, allowing them to create a buddy list and to see where their friends are currently connected.