Public WLAN in Europe – $1.8bn in 2007
Yankee slide rule
Europe will be home to 7.7 million public access wireless local area network (PWLAN) service subscribers by 2007, when service revenue will reach $1.8bn, according to Yankee Group Europe.
In its new report "Public Access WLAN in Europe: A Technology in Search of a Business Case?" Yankee group said WLAN technology is now "relatively mature" and "widely deployed" among European enterprises, providing a base of Wi-Fi-enabled laptops users for prospective PWLAN operators.
However, Yankee also warned that the PWLAN sector's success is by no means guaranteed. Much will depend on the service models adopted by early entrants, and on the industry's ability to address lingering technology barriers, including support for PWLAN roaming, security and the provision of suitably flexible billing regimes.
Although Yankee is broadly positive about the future of PWLAN in Europe, the company said it does not subscribe to the predictions of rival market analysts, who have warned that PWLAN poses a threat to future 3G revenue. Instead Yankee urged the mobile network operator (MNO) community "to grasp the PWLAN opportunity immediately, and to leverage their formidable position of strength in mobile services and customer ownership to grasp to secure a dominant role in the provision of PWLAN services."