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The value of mobile, networked systems is derived from a balance of the breadth of applications that can be supported and the costs to the user. Commercial cellular data services such as 3G provide good performance for a wide range of applications, but they incur monthly subscription fees and are limited to areas where the market supports the deployment of a cell tower infrastructure. For many, cellular services are the best choice. However, the ubiquity and low cost of WiFi suggests an attractive alternative, namely, opportunistic use of open WiFi Internet Access Points (APs) or planned municipal mesh networks.
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