Not sure what the point of this article was other than to highlight ridiculously high prices and monopoly carriers that care not for their customers. But customers adapt and are doing just fine with wifi as evidenced by the iPad take-rates. Interesting to see if the Apple/Samsung spat results in a rethink of the all-in-one smartphone device. My preference would be to have 4-5 different variations of a smartphone depending on the context I find myself in.
I am fortunate enough to have a mobile contract that allows "tethering" and regularly use my smartphone to provide wireless mobile connectivity for my tablet and laptop. It would be great, though, if I could work things in reverse so that I could use the tablet to provide power for the smartphone (already possible with the laptop) given that the battery lasts five times as long on the tablet. Even better if I could use the tablet and/or laptop to provide extra storage and processing power for the smartphone - though much of the time the work around is just to use those devices instead. As @InfoStack indicates, this is more about the commercial issues than the technology. A PAN could easily be developed but for the commercial issues, principally for mobile operators.
I think the best use of a "PAN" would be to synchronize data between devices without having to send your data halfway around the world just to update a second device that is 2-3 *feet* away from the first one. At one time, before the latest iteration of mainframe/network/cloud computing, you could synchronize data between devices over a USB cable. It worked quite effectively; in fact it worked MUCH better than the current crop of half-baked solutions. The cloud has it's place, but synchronizing between my computer and whatever device attempts to replace my PDA is not one of them.
but, in amongst all the buzz tech words isn't that last paragraph basically saying you want to lug yet another device around with you? To what end? I get wireless coverage at work and I have a wireless network in my house. The only places I'm not getting connectivity is when I'm actually on the move in my car - and I should be driving the car, not playing with my tech.
Yes, this is the tech that does tethering. OR as a poster mentioned, simply use USB. If companies build these things as standalones to be synced through the cloud, that's just a fad trend to sell more wireless minutes I guess.
There are plenty of ways to tether devices to a phone. Doesn't matter if your provider doesn't want you to do it or not. USB cable, Bluetooth and even WiFi. My phone, using the now obsolete WebOS has a tethering program I downloaded and installed that basically takes over the WiFi allowing multiple devices to connect to it at will (via WiFi). For Android users there are a multitude of ways to do it depending on what skill level the user is (i.e. basic programs vs. rooted programs). So when cell providers don't want you to do something, it just encourages users to find other ways to do it
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