Dueling UWB Predictions

Which way will it go? While we’ve been pretty clear here that we think the companies working on UWB are doing quite a bit of damage to themselves by not agreeing to a single standard, it’s a bit amusing to see two reports come out today with completely different conclusions about the UWB market. In-Stat/MDR is claiming that, despite the standards battle, UWB will be a huge hit, because no other technology has transfer speeds anywhere close to UWB. Meanwhile, The Diffusion Group comes to the complete opposite conclusion, saying that UWB is going to flop because the slowness due to the standards battle means 802.11n and Zigbee offerings will be able to eat into markets that could have been UWB’s alone. Both make some good points, and it may depend on execution. UWB and Zigbee really are targeted at pretty different areas, so it’s unlikely Zigbee, with its very low data rates, is really likely to eat into too much of UWB’s potential market. 802.11n products are still a ways off (and it faces its own standards battle), so much of what happens may depend on timing and which technology gets past its standards battle headache first. Also, if one version of UWB really does take the market by storm, giving it de facto standard status, then it could do quite well. However, what is clear is that UWB’s standards battle is eroding some of the advantage they would have had if they had simply come to an agreement a year ago. They can still recover, but it gets tougher every day.

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