More than 1 million wireless mesh routers, generating revenues of more than $1.2 billion, will be shipped in 2010 to service muni-WiFi networks, market research group ABI Research concludes. By 2010, municipal WiFi networks will cover 126,000 sq.mi. worldwide, which is an increase from about 1,500 sq.mi. in 2005, ABI says. The growth of municipal WiFi is being driven by several trends, among them use of the wireless networks for public safety and increased efficiency. In addition, alternative ISPs view WiFi mesh networking as an inexpensive way to compete with incumbent service providers and an efficient way to provide broadband access to underserved areas. In addition, cable companies may ultimately turn to providing municipal WiFi networks as a way to compete with telcos.
For more on the growth of muni-WiFi:
- see eMarketer's report
PLUS: Minneapolis recently wrapped up a debate over whether to build or contract for a city-owned WiFi system, or to contract for a city-wide system through a private company. After much debate, the city council chose to forgo owning the WiFi system outright and will instead contract with one of two Internet providers, EarthLink or a Minnesota-based ISP, US Internet. Report
ALSO: Shape of things to come? The city of Turku, Finland, has a robust WiFi network with 500 access points across the city provided by SparkNet. SparkNet is not just a network but a set of services that includes authentication, roaming, multi-operator network management and more, which enable cooperation between the public sector, residents and private companies. Each participant in SparkNet brings additional network capacity to the OpenSpark community, which has already spread as far as New York and Brussels. Report | OpenSpark
FINALLY: Global spending by local government bodies on mobile and wireless solutions last year hit $802 million and looks set to hit $8.6 billion by 2010, new research by Juniper Research reveals. Article