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The Samsung Galaxy S5 feature that's got Wi-Fi providers running scared

Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S5 has plenty of new features (see the slideshow below), but there's only one that is going to leave wireless carriers quaking in their boots.

Carriers play a little game with your data plans. They make more money if you use less data. So it's in their interest to get you using Wi-Fi as much as possible, moving the data bits off of their network, and off of their dime.

Download Booster messes with that plan. It's the first technology I've seen to aggregate Wi-Fi and LTE - it connects to both networks at the same time, making them look like one, faster network.

This isn't going to affect people at home or work much, because home and office Wi-Fi are generally fast enough that adding LTE isn't that interesting.

But it'll be a big deal for public Wi-Fi hotspots, for instance in Starbucks, where you typically see very limited Wi-Fi speeds because of overcrowding and your LTE speeds can also cut down, because you're indoors.

It'll also probably help in hotels, for the same reasons; when I went to Las Vegas this year for CES, my mind was boggled by the lousiness of both my LTE signal and the hotel's Wi-Fi.

So yes, there's a reason for this feature, especially for road warriors. I just can't think of anything that could be more against wireless carriers' business models.

Beyond the business model question, there's the issue of data caps. Most people on limited data plans want to switch over to Wi-Fi whenever they can, so they can save their limited data for when they really need it.

Sprint and T-Mobile are still plugging unlimited data, though, and Download Booster may be a great way for them to differentiate - especially for those power users and small business clients who end up in a lot of weak-LTE, weak-Wi-Fi circumstances.

Download Booster doesn't work with non-LTE connections, so it won't help where LTE networks don't reach.

T-Mobile recently raised its rates on unlimited data, but CTO Neville Ray said that the carrier will be able to keep selling the plan for now. Sprint is even more firmly committed to unlimited data, and it's opening up a huge swathe of unused LTE capacity with its new Spark network, which the Galaxy S5 supports.

It'll be interesting to see if US providers Sprint and T-Mobile plug their unlimited plans with Download Booster as a way to get the most out of shaky public Wi-Fi connections. It'll be equally interesting to see if AT&T; and Verizon block it.

For more, see ITProPortal's Hands On With the Samsung Galaxy S5 and our spec comparison of the Samsung Galaxy S5 vs. Google's Nexus 5.