Do you travel? I do and I love traveling. One of the most common benefits and motivation of traveling is to explore new places, meet new people etc Our new smart phones have become the devices of choice to accomplish many of those things that we do when we travel. We use them as an extension of ourselves. As much as I cherish the fact that I can use my smartphone for many things, I usually dread my mobile phone bill at the end of the month. I think I am not alone in this sentiment. Sometimes I feel it is daylight robbery what the telecommunication companies do when it comes to charging for roaming. Here is a recent account by one of the writers for GigaOm:

Even using a smartphone in fairly normal ways — checking your location with a web-based map, sending email or text messages, uploading photos and so on — can result in massive charges when it is done while roaming internationally, thanks to the market control that telecom carriers enjoy.

Here is another account on Wall Street Journal:

Stuck with a $10,000 phone bill, the article goes on to describe a “Bill Shock”:

A Federal Communications Commission survey in 2010 found 1 in 6 mobile users—30 million Americans—had experienced “bill shock,” a sudden and unexpected increase in monthly cellular bills. Out of 764 “bill shock” complaints filed with the FCC in the first half of 2010, 20% were for bills of more than $1,000, and one was for a $68,505 bill.

There has to be a better way! A Wifi Market is an Ebay for your Data plan, this is how it works. All of us sign up for a data plan with our mobile phone service provider and typically it is for say 1 Gigabyte a month. I may use all of it or I may not, what if I could auction my excess “data” in my data plan in a market and someone else who needs it and does not have enough data could buy it directly from me? a kind of a clearing mechanism that allows for better and efficient use of your data plan.

Now the second piece in this puzzle is quite simple, all our smartphones have the capacity to tether – a concept that allows your smartphone to act as a router that can authenticate and connect another device to your smartphones’ 2G, 3G, LTE or Wifi network. Anyone traveling to say Amsterdam could see who has signed up for the Wifi Market from Amsterdam and can buy their data plan and connect to the device if they are in the vicinity, similar to connecting to a WiFi Hotspot. The WiFi Market will basically act as an intermediary of connecting those who want to connect to the internet and those who have excess capacity and access to connect to the Internet anywhere in the world. No more roaming charges which require you to mortgage your house to pay your phone company… Sounds good? Sign up at

Original title for the post borrowed from Fred Wilson’s Blog : Life Liberty and Blazing Broadband