Triple-Play Favors Innovation

The provision of future wireless triple-play services (voice, video, and data) could prove critical to alternative infrastructure vendors in their battle against traditional third-generation technology rivals, to judge from the results of Unstrung’s February poll: Wireless Triple Play.

Over half (55 percent) of the 286 respondents state that 2-Mbit/s is the minimum bandwidth download requirement for such services, far above the average levels offered by 3G technologies such as CDMA 1xEV-DO and UMTS.

As a result, emerging wireless standards could be set to steal the limelight. Thirty-five percent of respondents believe “Flarion or some other proprietary technology” is most likely to drive wireless triple-play services for the next five years, while the much-hyped 802.16 WiMax standard scores a further 29 percent of the vote.

Only 24 percent of respondents combined reckon “CDMA 1xEV-DO and beyond” and “UMTS and its high-speed extensions” are up to the task (10 percent and 14 percent respectively).

Additional good fortune for alternative infrastructure vendors is also apparent in the fact that wireless triple-play services look set to generate strong revenues. Half of respondents claim they are prepared to pay $50 a month for such services, and another 22 percent believe $100 is a reasonable amount.

As for which geographic locations the likes of Flarion, Alvarion Ltd. (Nasdaq: ALVR), and IPWireless Inc. should be targeting, Asia appears the most likely region to use wireless technology for triple-play services (41 percent of the vote). Next up is Europe (30 percent), followed by North America (26 percent).

Finally, it’s not just city dwellers and urbanites that will make up the core user market for triple-play services. A majority 67 percent of voters agree that services should be launched in a mixture of both major urban and rural areas.

Moving on, this month’s poll inhales the head of steam building up behind WiFi/cellular convergence. Let us know where you stand on the pleasures and pitfalls of convergence by clicking here: The Convergence Conundrum.

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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