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Johanne Torres[March 29, 2005]

Fixed Wireless, WiMAX and WiFi Markets to Reach $12.4 billion by 2010


A recent report conducted and published by research firm Research and Markets titled Fixed Wireless, WiMAX, and WiFi Market Opportunities, Strategies, and Forecasts, 2005 to 2010 forecasts fixed wireless, WiMAX, and WiFi markets at $2.4 billion last year, to reach $12.4 billion by 2010. Forecasts for strong growth are based on the assumption that systems work well to transmit information from different locations where people congregate.

The study author explained that consumer broadband adoption is accompanied by purchases of access points and adaptors. WiFi adoption has been slower in the enterprise sector. The research found that prices for consumer equipment have been falling faster than those for enterprise- grade systems. The study revealed that SOHO and consumer spending has outpaced that of enterprises. According to the report, the big factor preventing greater WiFi adoption in enterprise organizations has been lack of security. 802.11i is the protocol intended to ensure WiFi network security. Analysts believe that this protocol gives organizations a much greater level of comfort with the technology.

The report reveals that hot spot subscriber penetration of wireless subscriber markets does not detract from wireless subscribers using voice telephones that are possible to use while roaming and hot spot Internet access for data while traveling away from the home or office. Thus people will use both hot spot connectivity for data and wireless handsets for voice communication. As VoIP becomes more common it may be that handsets evolve for use in hot spots to connect voice calls using the hot spot Internet access.

Analysts believe that WiFi has experienced an unprecedented rate of market acceptance, growing faster than Ethernet did at the same evolutionary stage. According to the study, the availability of low-cost WiFi clients and the increasing trend towards built-in WiFi on mobile computing platforms will accelerate this growth. Just as Ethernet switches scaled Ethernet and made it more suitable for large enterprises, so also WiMAX capabilities are achieving the capacity for campus and community scaling of fixed wireless systems. Experts say that base stations will make WiFi more suitable for enterprise service provider deployments.

The research reveals that the WLAN market has grown exponentially. Demand is for mobility in and out of the office. Client devices meet the challenges of device mobility. Devices interoperate securely with WLAN infrastructures. Devices consistently provide features that support broadband applications.

The firm reported that the introduction of mobility into the WiMAX roadmap is a complication. Many operators have made significant investments in 3G and WiFi equipment. WiMAX is likely to play an integral part in many wireless broadband deployments going forward. WiMAX and 3G have different strengths and weaknesses. Analysts believe that economics and politics suggest they could conflict. Mobile WiMAX enable wireline and second tier operators without 3G licenses to challenge the larger Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs). Mobile WiMAX enables providers to disrupt the ability of other providers to earn a reasonable return on their investment. According to the study, opportunities for WISPs to use WiMAX services to complement 3G services in developing nations and create premium data networks exist.

Research and Markets


Johanne Torres is contributing editor for TMCnet.com and Internet Telephony magazine. Previously, she was assistant editor for EContent magazine in Connecticut. She can be reached by e-mail at jtorres@tmcnet.com.

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