Wi-Fi finds back door into ordinary cell phones

Ordinary cell phones that normally lack Wi-Fi could get this feature via a MicroSD card. Prototypes are now being exhibited at Wireless Japan 2009.

Japanese mobile carrier KDDI is showcasing a neat way for providing ordinary cell phones with Wi-Fi.

KDDI is showcasing two microSD cards at Wireless Japan 2009. Techon

The trick is to integrate Wi-Fi technology on MicroSD cards, used for storage in most modern mobile phones.

At Wireless Japan 2009, now under way in Tokyo, KDDI is exhibiting two different cards manufactured by Mitsumi Electric and Renesas Technology, Japanese Web site Techon reports.

Both have a wireless LAN IC compliant with IEEE802.11b/g, a transceiving antenna, and passive components. There's no information on release date, compatibility, or battery consumption, which could be an issue, but if the product comes to market it could prove handy.

As opposed to smartphones, traditional cell phones often lack Wi-Fi for a fast Internet connection.

About the author

    Mats Lewan, IT and telecom editor at Swedish technology weekly Ny Teknik, has joined CNET News as a 2009 fellow with Stanford University's Innovation Journalism program. E-mail Mats.


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