Metro Wi-Fi Network To Grow Enormously By 2010

by CXOtoday Staff    Mar 16, 2006

Municipal Wi-Fi networks that have already covered 1,500 square miles worldwide in 2005 are expected to increase to 126,000 square miles by 2010, according to ABI Research.

The bulk of these deployments will take place in North America and Asia-Pacific region and more than one million wireless mesh routers will be shipped in 2010 that will cost more than $1.2 billion.

Wireless mesh networking technology is seen as an efficient and cost-effective means of providing broadband access to underserved areas. This is particularly noticeable as the municipal Wi-Fi trend moves from great metropolises into smaller cities and towns and can also serve as a competitive tool for cable operators.

Sam Lucero, the firm’s senior analyst, wireless connectivity research said, “The majority of municipal Wi-Fi deployments in the recent past have been based on mesh technology. But that could change, depending on how markets receive WiMAX and similar cellular point-to-point technologies when they become available. That is something we’re keeping a close eye on.”

As there are no provisions for adequate bandwidth for bundled video, voice, and broadband data, Sam cautions incumbent service providers not to adopt wireless mesh networking technology for their primary networks.

The ABI study examines the trends for both metro-scale and campus-scale wireless mesh networking technology on a worldwide basis.