The idea of wireless Internet has been around for a while. Many companies have invested heavily in developing wireless Internet applications and services, but have failed to find the silver bullet due to the lack of the most important aspect that could turn it into an everyday aspect of life: fast, reliable broadband connection. At the dawn of the wireless Internet, many companies emerged with a grand idea of extending existing Internet content and services to mobile devices, making personal and corporate data and applications services available "anytime, anywhere." While the idea promised grand success, as was proved by the amount of venture capital invested in companies focused on development of mobile and wireless platforms, applications, and services, the most important component was missing: the connection medium with speeds capable of satisfying the end users. Among the companies that will go down in history as wireless Internet pioneers will be Metricom, Palm, GoAmerica, OmniSky, and Phone.com.
The evolution of the mobile Internet very much replicates the evolution of the tethered Internet services. The pioneering wired Internet services were very slow and expensive. The first computer modems capped at 9.6 kbps data transfer rates. The services have been offered on per-minute bases at very expensive rates, basically making early Internet services unavailable to the wide audience. As time passed, PC modem technology improved, and today individuals enjoy fast T1 and T3 connections averaging 10 Mbps data transfer rates in their offices and at least 100-kbps broadband Internet services on home PCs. Mobile Internet technology is following a similar pattern. It started with slow speeds and poor coverage and has been slowly growing to higher bandwidth and more dense coverage. From the plain old cellular AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System) networks that became the base for the first wireless data communications, all the way to fast, newer standards like NTT DoCoMo and WiFi, wireless Internet evolved providing faster, more-secure, and more-reliable data connections with each new technology offering.