Euro WiFi to Generate $898M

ON World predicts there will be 174,000 hotspots generating €743.56M ($898M) in revenues by 2009

April 5, 2004

2 Min Read

SAN DIEGO -- There will be 174,000 hotspots in Europe by 2009 and these will generate $898 million in revenues, according to a released report by emerging wireless research firm, ON World.

"Hotspots are a way for European fixed line operators to extend their broadband networks and for mobile operators to finally profit their 3G investments," according to Colin Carroll, a senior research analyst for ON World. European fixed line and mobile network operators today have evolved from debating about whether the hotspot business model makes sense or not to chasing after choice locations.

The European environment is nearly ideal for offering public broadband access due to its concentrated population, high mobile phone penetration, growing broadband adoption, cafe culture and centralized telecom infrastructure. User adoption continues to lag due to high access costs, limited roaming and because managed network operators gobbled up the WISPs before they had a chance to educate the market at the local level. ON World believes these limitations are short term and the network operators that focus on these too long will miss out on a powerful way to extend their broadband reach and create compelling new services and sources of revenue. At the end of the projection period, ON World predicts that only about 15% of all hotspot users in Europe will be frequent users and most of these will be subscribers.

Carroll notes that the land grab phase of the hotspot rollout in Europe is quickly closing and as WiFi devices proliferate, the next phase of WiFi enabled services will soon arrive. The rapid hotspot deployment phase of the next three to five years will be supported and driven by operational service support (OSS) and hotspot access providers such as AirPath, Nomadix and Pronto Networks as well as clearinghouses/aggregators such as iPass, GRIC and Trustive. ON World believes Wi-Fi enabled devices will become widespread by the end of 2007 and this will result in increasing demand for hotspot oriented data and multimedia services as well as voice over wireless LAN and seamless roaming solutions by companies such as Appear Networks, BridgePort Networks, Kineto Wireless, Megisto Networks and WeRoam.

As with all things in Europe, there are profound differences from country to country. ON World notes that hotspot numbers, costs, adoption rates and usage figures differ widely, and some of their findings are quite surprising. For example, Eastern European countries such as Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have relatively high mobile phone and broadband penetration and relatively low hotspot numbers which present a particularly attractive opportunity for a variety of network operators, service providers and developers.

ON World

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