Ledbury,UK: A vast new market opportunity is opening up for W-LAN services in the home, according to a new report Wi-Fi Home Networking -The Emerging Broadband Home from W-LAN specialists BWCS. By 2007, the report projects, there will be over 50 million homes in Europe, the US and Asia with WiFi connections installed.
By the end of 2003, the report shows, there were just over 100 million broadband connections around the world, 80% of which were residential. At the same time there were just over 5 million home-based W-LANs, mainly in the US. BWCS expects global penetration levels of home W-LANs to grow to 23% of broadband homes by 2007. This dynamic growth will enable providers to deliver a slew of new services to domestic customers and will radically change the way we use our home entertainment devices. At the same time it will add a new dynamic to the market for public access W-LAN services as consumers demand high-speed wireless access whilst away from their homes.
"The home W-LAN market represents a huge opportunity not just for product vendors but for service providers and content owners too", argues report author Ian Cox. "The penny is slowly dropping that broadband connections can offer a whole lot more than just swifter data downloads and a brand new market for WiFi-based entertainment services is developing." He continued:
"We are now seeing major players, such as Microsoft, Intel, Cisco and others making concerted efforts to break into the market."
Wi-Fi Home Networking shows that the US experience, where low-cost 802.11b technology is combining with the spread of high-speed fixed line connections to drive domestic WiFi adoption, is being replicated in Japan and Korea. The report argues that these markets are now moving into the next phase of WiFi development. This is marked by the convergence of applications on the PC and TV set and the proliferation of other devices such as cameras and MP3 players, all of which can be connected to the home W-LAN to share files, video-clips and photographs.
As Cox puts it, "Home networking is at the beginning of its evolution. So far we have seen only the emergence of a few standard products for the PC.
This process has a long way to go, and integrating W-LAN with many different devices will become natural and unavoidable", he argues.
The report suggests that the biggest challenge facing companies involved in this sector will be supporting voice and video applications in terms of providing quality of service, data rates coverage and plug and play connectivity.
BWCS is a leading wireless telecommunications consultancy, based in the UK and operating worldwide. For more information please go to www.BWCS.com
BWCS Ltd, 6 Worcester Road, Ledbury HR8 2BS, UK.
Tel +44 1531 634326, Fax +44 1531 631443
E-mail: [email protected]; Website: www.bwcs.com