- 19 Aug 09, 16:07 GMT
What's your biggest technology disappointment? For me, it's pervasive public wi-fi.
Only a few years back a whole host of commercial and community schemes were underway in the UK and elsewhere which promised to blanket towns in free - or very cheap - wireless connectivity.
But as I wander round Britain or visit the United States - I rarely find wi-fi that is both easy to use and affordable.
I'm far more likely to get on the internet on the move using either a 3G phone, or a USB mobile broadband dongle (not cheap either - but easier) and given the soaring data traffic across mobile networks, I suspect that's the same for many people.
Municipal wi-fi, which attracted a lot of interest and investment in the early part of the decade, has proved something of a "bubble" phenomenon with many projects abandoned and others failing to deliver a return for their investors.
I put my view that public wi-fi has been a huge disappointment to Dave Hughes, director of Wireless Broadband at BT Retail.
He'd come on the phone to trumpet BT's announcement that it had now built half a million wi-fi hotspots across the UK, and to set a target of hitting a million by next February.
So naturally he disagreed with my diagnosis - he felt the wi-fi revolution was marching forward.
But eventually we found some common ground. He accepted that wi-fi in the open air had its limitations - and I agreed that in hotels, cafes and airports (when you can find it - it usually offers a much better connection than 3G).
Mind you, I've still not used a wi-fi connection indoors in the UK to make a voice over internet protocol (VoIP) phone call - one of the most attractive uses of the technology - whereas I have downloaded web pages using 3G, despite the cost.
So for now wi-fi appears to have retreated from the park and headed back indoors, to cafes and public buildings. But Mr Hughes at BT isn't giving up.
He says the technology is moving forward and the demand for mobile connectivity is growing exponentially. That's obviously true - the question is which technology will triumph.
It could be Wimax - although this "wi-fi on steroids" technology is doing better in the developing world than in places like the UK.
It looks more likely to be new flavour of mobile network, whether it's called 4G or LTE (Long Term Evolution). Users won't really care, as long as they can get online anywhere at a reasonable price.
But it matters for businesses which will want to offer customers a seamless broadband experience at home and on the move. Mobile operators - already offering broadband at home - will believe that they have the most complete wireless technology offering.
BT - which doesn't have its own mobile network - will be wondering whether it's wise to keep on betting on wi-fi as its solution.
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