Study: VoIP Drives Enterprise WiFi

VoIP over wireless LANs is likely to be the application that drives enterprise Wi-Fi adoption, according to a study by Infonetics Research.

The study, title “Service Provider Plans for Wi-Fi and Wireless Broadband: North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific 2005,” examined the strategies, technology requirements, and network implementation plans of 24 fixed-line and mobile service providers and wireless ISPs. It predicts future growth as multiple wireless broadband technologies evolve and services providers learn how to capitalize on them.

Half of the service providers surveyed say they will offer packetized voice service in 2006.

The study also shows that basic business questions like pricing, bundling and potential market size are still a challenge for providers.

“Despite slow growth in Wi-Fi revenue, there remains optimism about the technology and confidence in wireless broadband services,” said Infonetics Research’s Richard Webb, directing analyst for wireless LANs and lead author of the report.

“Many service providers seem to view Wi-Fi as the thin end of the wireless data wedge, driving demand and adoption of wireless broadband services,” said Webb. “To accommodate this, wireless networks in the future will be more of a patchwork of different technologies supporting 3G, Wi-Fi, WiMAX, and others.”