Day: April 28, 2004

  • Free Wi-Fi on the National Mall

    The Washington Post:

    Frisbee-throwers and lawmakers alike could soon be able to access free wireless Internet on Washington’s National Mall under a plan announced by a nonprofit group on Wednesday.

    Members of the Open Park Project already have set up a wireless access point covering the Supreme Court and the Capitol and say they hope to extend wireless broadband coverage across the capital’s monument-filled core within a year.

    Hey, that totally rocks.  I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on The Open Park Project.  The FCC already provides free Wi-Fi at their headquarters.  Many local coffee houses also provide free Wi-Fi for their patrons.  For-pay Wi-Fi is also abundant.  There are 38 Starbucks locations, three Borders stores, and seven FedEx Kinko’s Office and Print Centers in the district.  These are all T-Mobile hotspots that can be accessed for as little as $6 an hour.

  • Americans Send Text Messages Too

    Converge Digest has some stats on Verizon and Verizon Wireless’ Q1 2004 stats.  Here are some of the highlights from last quarter:

    • 1.4 million new customers.  They’re definitely one of the benefactors of number portability.
    • Customer loyalty is big.  Fewer customers jumped ship last quarter.
    • The average customer (voice, DSL, or wireless) paid Verizon $48 monthly.
    • They’re ramping up on EV-DO

    Now here’s the biggie: Verizon customers sent 2.1 billion text messages in Q1 2004.  They downloaded 19 million apps to their phones (directly through Verizon).  They sent 21 million picture messages.

    Those numbers are for one carrier (now the number 2 carrier in the US) over one quarter.  The stats mentioned by the BBC yesterday were for all UK carriers in the month of March.  We’re obviously not sending as many SMSes over here as they do in the UK, but we’re catching up fast.

    SMS pricing structures also tend to be different over here.  Most carriers offer SMS bundles.  I’ve got an add-on for my T-Mobile plan that gets me 500 SMS messages for $2.99.  Other carriers have similar plans, or you can just pay $0.10 a pop.

    Dave Winer might not have a use for SMS (other than as an illustration for an RSS vs. Atom argument), but Americans are indeed sending text messages.  Quite a few of them.