But the hardware is only half of the story – you’re going to need a standard for seamlessly switching between wireless networks too. Thankfully such a standard is well underway in the shape of 802.21.
With the implementation of 802.21 users should be able to seamlessly move between WiFi, WiMAX and even cellular networks, while not only maintaining a connection, but without even noticing a transition.
For this to work there are a few hurdles that need to be jumped. First, you need to be able to discover different types of networks when they become available. Next, your hardware needs to ascertain whether then newly discovered network is preferable to the currently utilised one. Your hardware then needs to activate the radio for the new network, while also powering down the radio for the old one in order to save power. And all this has to be totally transparent to the user!
I don’t know how long it will be before we see this type of mobile connectivity appears in retail products, but I do know one thing – it can’t come soon enough.