Millions of Access Points Required to Meet Demands of Wi -Fi Hotspot Markets, Forecasts ABI

The Wi-Fi hotspot industry continues to experience tremendous growth, aided by lower pricing points and standardization of technology.

Oyster Bay, NY - September 18, 2003

The Wi -Fi hotspot industry continues to experience tremendous growth, aided by lower pricing points and standardization of technology. Technology market research firm ABI believes that this growth will continue to accelerate, as companies and consumers adopt usage of the technology at a faster pace. One of the key beneficiaries of this growth is Wi -Fi access point suppliers, with shipments to hotspots growing about 50% on a compound basis to 2008. This growth, however, is not without its pitfalls.

Issues facing the hotspot industry range from interoperability between hotspot locations to the need for operators and aggregators to acquire more users. Selling Wi -Fi services combined with cellular and other operator offerings could help stimulate more consumer interest in hotspots. "There are some terrific opportunities for operators to start bundling services," explains Edward Rerisi, ABI's Director of Research, "offering consumers a more data intensive usage model, as well as a more compelling package of benefits and value."

Along with strong global demand for Wi -Fi services is a parallel demand for Wi -Fi hotspot equipment. ABI projects that annual hotspot access point shipments will grow to about 1 million by 2008. After the initial build out of the hotspot infrastructure, ABI expects the growth rate of access point shipments to slow from a peak of 132% in 2005 to a modest 12% by 2008.

"The Wi -Fi market continues to be competitive, but the market is large enough for players to carve a niche in this segment," explains Rerisi. He adds, "New solutions at the chip level, like those from Atheros, coupled with advances in technology can shape this equipment segment." ABI's report, "Wi -Fi Hotspot Equipment Markets," investigates the market, looking at areas of growth and what pitfalls may lie ahead. As the industry continues its land grab for premium locations and partnership arrangements, much has to be hammered out in this incipient market. Beyond the equipment requirements for Wi -Fi hotspots, the ABI study explores the business case models, subscriber trends, locations, and revenue projections. Qualitative forecasts are provided for hotspot count, corresponding access points, subscribers, and revenue, from 2003 to 2008.

ABI is a N.Y. -based technology market research firm founded in 1990. ABI publishes market research and technology intelligence on the wireless, automotive, electronics, networking and energy industries. Details can be found on the web at or by calling 516 -624 -3113.

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