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Issue #2003 - 25 (September 2003)
(Updated Sept. 12, 2003)


Hotspot Market Outlook - DataMonitor Reports on PWLAN Future

This report analyzes the opportunities for technology vendors and service providers targeting the global market for public wireless local area networks (PWLANs), also commonly known as 'hotspots'. The report provides market forecasts and effective go-to-market strategies, as well as Datamonitor's perspectives on some pertinent industry issues. The report

  • Forecasts the growth in the roll-out of PWLAN locations by type and geography and assesses the usage of PWLAN services to 2006 
  • Analyzes the drivers and inhibitors impacting the PWLAN market and the variety of business models and service provider offerings that have emerged Identifies strategic and tactical recommendations for both PWLAN service providers and network equipment vendors
  • Examines the global PWLAN market, focusing on the opportunities in EMEA, Asia Pacific and North America

At present, the leading region in terms of PWLAN locations is Asia Pacific, though Datamonitor expects the North American and EMEA markets to catch up and surpass the forerunner in terms of overall numbers in 2004 and 2006 respectively.

Build out of PWLAN locations will reach its peak in 2004 as service providers and premises owners launch services in new locations and continue their investment in their PWLAN businesses. From 2005, the pace of hotspot roll-out will slow as prime locations for PWLAN services are accounted for.
Datamonitor maintains its position that PWLAN is not a true competitor to third generation mobile services. However, Datamonitor does believe that in certain niche markets, PWLAN services may impact the revenues which 3G operators would otherwise have been guaranteed.

Source: DataMonitor 
For more information: http://www.datamonitor.com

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: Public wireless LANs (or hotspots) have been researched a lot with forecasts that do not sit well with those who build financial models and crunch ROI numbers. Consumers want it but are not shelling out the money to pay for it. Datamonitor, a respectable research company may have stronger supporting documentation to support its report.

We are of the opinion that any industry that is fragmented and does not have a strong glue to unite it  - meaning a lack of  roaming agreements with carriers - will be slow to gather moss. Boingo and Cometa in North America are doing their bit but to have widespread coverage, it has to go a long way. This sort of build out requires agreements with plazas, coffee chains, restaurant franchises and more - that takes long time. 2004 is too early to reach the peak - middle of 2004 is only nine months away. On a more positive note, we feel that professionals will start paying more for hot spot usage as coverage improves.

Having cast doubts on the timing of money-making hotspot deployment, we are more bullish on corporate WLANs. Finally, we are very bullish on fully-integrated WLAN-3G architecture for future. Carriers are reluctantly showing signs of acceptance of the eventuality - much to their dislike.

Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.

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