Wi-Fi Internet Access Is Hot, but Its Profit Potential Is Tepid

The New York Times has an interesting article that comes to the same conclusions I have about Wi-Fi. It’s a great technology that will become more widespread, but there will be few profits. On the hardware side, competition is fierce and eventually only a few players will be able to stay in the game. On the access side, all the services are over priced to drive major demand. Mainstream Wi-Fi access (coffee shops, etc) will be driven to free and considered a utility cost like gas, water and electricity. There maybe a higher end market for business users in exclusive locations like airport exec lounges, conference centers and hotels. In the end Wi-Fi will be bundled as part of wireless and wireline operators suite of core product offerings.

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