The New Wireless Tangle

The New Wireless Tangle

The mobile-phone industry used to be straightforward. Operators, like Vodafone, ran networks based on cellular technologies that transmitted signals through the air from giant, ground-based antennas. And handset vendors, like Nokia and Motorola, churned out phones that worked on those networks, which they'd sell through the operators. An easy-enough, symbiotic relationship for all involved.

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Now two new Net-based mobile technologies are challenging the dominance of traditional cellular networks — a shift that has left the carriers scrambling for a strategy as they increasingly face the...

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