Windows Phone 8 users to get free access to 11 million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide

Windows Phone 8 users to get free access to 11 million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide
DataSense is one of the new features implemented in Windows Phone 8. On the surface, it seems like a useful tool for keeping an eye on your cellular data usage, but it can also help users reduce their data consumption by compressing the information being transmitted. However, there's one more trick tucked up its sleeve, and a number of Windows Phone 8 users are surely going to benefit from it.

Microsoft has partnered up with a company called Devicescape, which specializes in offloading cellular data traffic by routing it over its array of Wi-Fi networks. The company has 11 million Wi-Fi hotspots worldwide, and all of them have been tested for reliability's sake. In Windows Phone 8, DataSense will take advantage of Devicescape's technology and will allow users to connect to Wi-Fi, if available, instead of using their data plan while out and about. DataSense will be first activated on Verizon WP8 smartphones.

Unfortunately, while DataSense and Devicescape will help those Windows Phone 8 users find free Wi-Fi around them, the login process is still done manually. However, ways to automate this are currently being developed, so signing on to a nearby hotspot will not require user interaction one day. Since the majority of Devicescape's Wi-Fi access points are located in the U.S., the benefit will be felt mostly by Stateside users.

source: Telecoms via Neowin

FEATURED VIDEO

32 Comments

1. AliNSiddiqui

Posts: 382; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

Free access to 11 million Wi-Fi hotspots and yet Windows Phone doesn't use WiFi when going to sleep... Not everyone has a data plan you know?

6. jubbing

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 20, 2008

I believe it works differently in wp8 does it not? Either way it was was implemented like that to save battery. But an option to choose would have been nice.

16. AliNSiddiqui

Posts: 382; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

Tests show that battery lasts just as long, and no, it works the same way in WP8.

2. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

I wonder if at the site where you login to there will be an option to look at a map for these wi-fi spots...

3. KingShango

Posts: 89; Member since: May 16, 2012

Now can people please stop whining about the "lack of apps" or a "weak ecosystem" and realize how awesome WP8 is? Apps are the easy part, they'll come with time especially now that Win8 has launched. Anyone that thinks MS is going to fail and just walk away from mobile computing is kidding themselves.

5. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Lack of apps and games, no Rooting or overclocking or changeable Kernels. You have no access to ownership of this phone.

7. jubbing

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 20, 2008

So what? Most people NEVER root or overclock their phones.

8. No_Nonsense unregistered

Can you decide your stance at once? One day you bash WP and the other days you bash iOS.

20. Pings

Posts: 304; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

Well Yeah! They both sucks. Well at least iOS looks cool. WP is just ugly.

17. pookiewood

Posts: 631; Member since: Mar 05, 2012

Rooting, overclocking and changeable kernels? Really? Ya'll are running out of things to bash WP about.

19. jdep1

Posts: 26; Member since: Nov 06, 2012

I had android & flashing ROMs, rooting,over clocking & so on was a MUST because most Android devices are bloated, sluggish & need to be over clocked in order to get smooth transitions I can't say that about WP or iOS since the os runs smooth out of the box. Free WiFi is always good!

22. XPERIA-KNIGHT unregistered

only thing i can agree on is lack of apps as most people, like the comment above says, dont root or over clock there phones bro.......but on the lack of apps part.......just gotta give them a little more time as there app store will be growing........my only problem with windows phones as of right now is the UI seems to be the most "cluttered" and "unorganized" UI I've ever seen! Every thing seems to be just all over the place and the app draw is just one long list to scroll down on.........Wow if they could some how change that then maybe I would consider it over android......but then again im still not sure its enough for me to leave an "almost" perfect OS and UI like

14. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

Yes, WP8 is great, except for the fact it's basically an underdeveloped iOS with "live tiles". The customisation on it is almost 0 other than setting your own "tiles" and changing the color scheme. OS is locked down unless you're a developer, in which case you have to go thru some painstaking process to unlock your phone and void your warranty. Microsoft is as cocky as ever. (Yes, putting a whole lot of customized androids together and you can't tell the difference, but put all WP8 phones together that have a different color scheme stands out a lot) The only good thing that I can think of as an IT student is that Microsoft is really making app development easy with Visual Studio 2012 and a whole lot of tutorials and incentives. Other than that, I'll probably never switch to WP8

21. carlosechev07

Posts: 39; Member since: Oct 16, 2012

You as an IT student must be thinking in development for all platforms if you want really rocks mobile platforms. Thinking in just one platform is warranty of slow traction for your development. And talking about IDE's, you must see Android SDK plugin for Eclipse, Visual Studio 2012 is really baby steps compared to Eclipse..!!

15. brandonrana

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 04, 2012

Agree with u #kingShango . Infact i think WP8 have the most brightest future ahead

23. android4president

Posts: 5; Member since: Oct 14, 2012

Naah i don't think so, i don't know maybe i'm wrong and only time will tell but it feels like people want to control more and more from their smartphones and make life easier, Android is the perfect platform for that. You can use Android in everything, making it able to control TV, refrigerators or the lights at home, it literally works on things out of this world.

24. chaoticrazor

Posts: 2347; Member since: Aug 28, 2012

and no other os can do the same, wp8 could be easily implemented in the ways you stated, plus the connection to xbox gives it an advantage. the ties it has trumps android for what your saying wp8-desktop-xbox-tablet android-camera-tablet both should have great futures but when you say android is the perfect platform, that just isnt the case

26. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

The thing is...the costs associated with putting WP in refrigerators, dishwashers and what not...thats where Android has the leg up. Android is already integrated in TV's and cable boxes. No need for something like Xbox os desktop PC's as the middle man. MS has a huge leg up on the entertainment side tho.

25. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

Maybe....but at some point any company would re evaluate is it worth the time and money. Ask RIM and Palm about that....once upon a time I bet they thought they would never be where they are now. I like the free wifi thing. As tiered data plans are being pushed, this is a huge plus for WP.

27. KingShango

Posts: 89; Member since: May 16, 2012

Except tha MS is ten times the company RIM and Palm were. They basically owned the computing space for decades. Yes they fell asleep at the wheel but its pretty obvious now they have their focus back. Look at the success of Xbox. They spent years and billions of dollars to break into mainstream gaming and last time i checked that bet has paid off pretty well. MS is in this for the long haul. They're not going anywhere.

28. jroc74

Posts: 6023; Member since: Dec 30, 2010

I forgot to add...once upon a time MS was 1 or 2 in market share for smartphones. They have to be feeling the heat in the smartphone arena. Yea they got their focus back...but it may be a case of too lil too late. They should have never let Android do what it did. I wont count them out yet tho....lol. And I agree about Xbox. I remember when it first came out....I was among the many that doubted it could compete with the PlayStation.

13. TROLL

Posts: 4851; Member since: Apr 13, 2012

Nick.T how was i Trolling? please specify?

18. jubbing

Posts: 150; Member since: Aug 20, 2008

You're too stupid to even bother explaining how you're stupid.

29. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is teaming up with Wi-Fi offload specialist Devicescape to power the Wi-Fi hotspot map that is part of Microsoft's Data Sense application, one of the new key features of Windows Phone 8. Data Sense is a suite of services intended to help users better manage their data usage and stay under their monthly data cap. Devicescape is giving Microsoft access to its curated virtual network of 12 million hotspots, the first time it has partnered with a major smartphone platform provider. To get access to the Wi-Fi mapping solution, users can enter through the Data Sense app and go to the control panel and select Wi-Fi map; launch a service that just shows the hotspots; and use Bing search's Local Scout feature to find nearby hotspots or access the map through the phone's Wi-Fi settings. The map of Wi-Fi hotspots represents Devicescape's curated list of free, public hotspots that have been vetted as strong, reliable and popular connections. Devicescape uses crowdsourced information from its users to get real-time data on the performance of hotspots. Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ) is so far the only U.S. carrier that will take advantage of Data Sense for its Windows Phones. Users on other networks with Windows Phone 8 devices will still be prompted if they want to connect to Wi-Fi when they are near hotspots, but they will not have access to Devicescape's curated network. Data Sense is not only about finding Wi-Fi hotspots for offloading though. The solution compresses every webpage, which Microsoft said will give users 45 percent more Web browsing than they would get if they were on the same data plan on another smartphone platform. Data Sense can also adjust how a user's phone behaves to avoid going over a data cap. More importantly, the service shows how much data each app is using and will pop up with a notification when a user is close to going over their limit. Devicescape has had deals with MetroPCS (NASDAQ:PCS), U.S. Cellular (NYSE:USM), Cincinnati Bell, MVNO Republic Wireless and Bouygues Telecom, but the company's deal with Microsoft is a major win. "We've never in the past had a distribution deal like this where our data was being validated and on a major platform," Devicescape CMO David Nowicki told FierceBroadbandWireless. "It's a major step forward for Microsoft to want to use this kind of data as opposed to something that hasn't been verified."

30. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

Nowicki declined to specify the business model for Devicescape as part of the Data Sense app, but he said the collaboration grew out of the company's long-standing relationship with Microsoft. "They were looking to differentiate their platform, [and] we have a well-differentiated solution, so it made sense to put those things together," he said. Nowicki also said the app would likely lead to more carriers embracing Data Sense and Wi-Fi offloading more generally. "Carriers are doing this for a marketing experience," he said, arguing that allowing customers to have access to high-quality Wi-Fi hotspots improves the customer experience.

31. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

From Fiercewireless.com

32. SemperFiV12

Posts: 949; Member since: Nov 09, 2010

Good news... roll on WP, roll on.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.