Will the Wi-Fi Boom Go Bust?

Yet another analyst firm is coming out with their predictions for the commercial WiFi hotspot business, suggesting that the “WiFi boom” will mirror the e-commerce boom, with lots of hype and buildout from the various vendors followed by a tremendous crash when the adoption rates (and profit margins) don’t meet expectations. I’m not so sure. While I’m no fan of the commercial hotspot business, I get the sense than many of those currently building out such hotspots are a bit spooked by the current low adoption rates. The experiments with more creative business models (such as those done by McDonald’s and Verizon) suggest that many companies are thinking more carefully about ways to make WiFi hotspots support their overall business, rather than be individual profit centers.

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