WLAN to connect 400 million mobiles by 2012


26 Jun 2008

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WLAN is being tipped as the next prevalent connectivity technology in mass-market mobile handsets by analyst firm Berg Insight.

The number of handsets with integrated WLAN is forecast to grow from 27 million in 2007 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 71.5pc to reach 400 million in 2012.

WLAN will primarily be used for high-speed internet access in home or office networks and file transfer of, for instance, photos and media libraries, said Berg Insight.

“Mobile operators no longer consider WLAN a threat against data revenues,” said André Malm, telecom analyst, Berg Insight. “As flat-rate plans for data access become the norm, encouraging subscribers to use a local internet connection actually makes a lot of sense as a way to prevent data overload in mobile networks.”

Competing technologies were being viewed more cautiously by Berg Insight. The number of handsets with integrated NFC or FeliCa is forecast to grow from 35 million in 2007 to reach 215 million in 2012, while UWB is not expected to appear in significant volumes before 2010 and will only be featured in 1pc of the handsets shipped in 2012.

By Niall Byrne

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