42K Public Hotspots By 2006

In-Stat/MDR predicts that that the number of worldwide public Wi-Fi hotspot will hit 42,000 by 2006, with the majority of them being in North America. We’ll believe it when we see it. The key obstacle seems to be the cost of building a useable footprint of hotspots and finding the right business model to support the network. Our concern is that we don’t see enough people trying to tackle these issues. We have small mom-and-pop ISPs building small networks and groups working on industry roaming standards. But to reach “predictable ubiquity” some big players will have to step up to build big networks. Hopefully IBM and Toshiba aren’t just blowing smoke and have some real solid execution plans.

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