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Wi-Fi’s future looks bright, new Jupiter report finds

Wi-Fi will evolve from today's stand-alone business model, dependent on consumer revenue as the primary source of R...

December 3, 2003  

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Wi-Fi will evolve from today’s stand-alone business model, dependent on consumer revenue as the primary source of ROI, to one of many applications that offers productivity savings to the enterprise, says a new report from Jupiter Research.

Enterprises (i.e., hotels, airports, retail establishments, etc.) will install high-speed Internet access and use wireless networks to create ubiquity that will both enable employees to be more productive and to offer new services to consumers.

The report outlines the level of consumer interest today as well as the economics of hotspot services and how Jupiter Research expects the market to evolve.

Jupiter found that 70 per cent of online consumers are aware of wireless, high-speed Internet access (Wi-Fi) in public places, but only 15 per cent have used it, regardless of location.

“Given the relatively low usage by consumers today, service providers and venues will have to look beyond consumer revenues to realize a positive return on their infrastructure investments," said Julie Ask, Research Director at Jupiter Research

The report finds that in the near term, enterprises will leverage their Wi-Fi networks for productivity gains and new service offerings, while service providers that leverage their existing assets — whether for backhaul infrastructure or corporate contracts for remote connectivity services — to offer Wi-Fi as part of a bundled offering will make money on public hotspots.

Longer term, the consumer revenue opportunity is expected to improve as business travelers offer a potentially lucrative market whether they pay directly through their own service provider or indirectly through their company’s remote connectivity service.

Further information is available at