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DailyStocks has put together company profiles of companies we have found to have interesting products or stories related to wireless fidelity (WI-FI) technology.
What is Wi-Fi?Technically, Wi-Fi, or Wireless Fidelity, is a synonym for the 802.11b Wireless protocol. This standard, created by the IEEE, first replaced the wall-to-the-back-of-your-computer network cable. Operating in the 2.4Ghz frequency range, 802.11b devices can achieve a speed of 11Mbps if the computer is no more than 25 meters from the Network Access Port. Speed falls to 1Mps at ranges between 25 and 90 meters. Each access point can support dozens of connects as long as the NAPs operate at the same speed.
There are still lots of outstanding issues with the 802.11b protocol, such as interference.Currently, a lot of other variations of the 802.11 protocol are being developed to solve these issues.
To us at DailyStocks, we will use the broader definition of Wireless Fidelity to mean technology that will all give you freedom to connect to the Internet from your couch at home, a bed in a hotel room or a conference room at work without wires. How? Wi-Fi is a wireless technology like a cell phone. Wi-Fi enabled computers send and receive data indoors and out; anywhere within the range of a base station. And the best thing of all, it's fast. In fact, it's several times faster than the fastest cable modem connection.
For example, some coffee shops in Europe and some StarBucks in New York City have installed wifi hotspots. Every Starbucks I know has wireless Internet connections via a paid T-Mobile connection. All you need is a device and a credit card. The public Bryant Park in New York City now have wifi hotspots enabled. Imagine the future!
The WI-FI Growth EstimatesAccording to a report by International Data Corporation (IDC), the "land-grab" frenzy will propel the U.S. hotspot market to grow by an estimated 46,000 new locations in 2003. The year 2004, on the other hand, will see a dramatic slowdown in new buildouts as the industry seeks to identify appropriate applications, content, and terminal designs. The report predicts that growth will return in 2005 and by 2007 there will be some 530,000 hotspots in the U.S.
The report further predicts that in Europe almost 800,000 hotspots will be installed by 2007, while in Asia, by even the most pessimistic estimates, there will be over 1 million hotspots by 2007. A more optimistic estimate places that figure at almost 4 million by that year.
The report estimates the mean for hotspots in the U.S. to be about 190 sessions per year, with a disproportionate share going to business hotels and major airports. In 2007, the report predicts some 4 billion sessions for the U.S. The U.S. usage revenue for 2007 is projected to be $8 billion, or about $15,000 per hotspot. At such usage levels profitability for the industry as a whole is contingent upon the lowest possible infrastructure costs, a fact that will force telco incumbents to re-evaluate their business plans.
DailyStocks has put together company profiles of companies we have found to have interesting products or stories related to wireless fidelity (WI-FI) technology. We make no opinions nor any valuation assessments of these companies. We just present companies that have products, services or technology that could benefit if WI-FI takes off.
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