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Not such a big surprise but home networks research outfit Parks Associates thinks that broadband wireless is set to take off. In the light of IEEE 802.16 technologies (WiMAX) and IEEE 802.20 Mobile-Fi and all the developments in smart antennae, that's not too surprising, but Parks says it's been on the cards for some time.

It estimates that 1% of all US broadband connected households currently use broadband wireless access technologies already, drawing the data from a recent consumer survey of more than 3,300 US broadband households.

"Broadband wireless has a very small residential market compared to DSL and cable modem services," said Yuanzhe Cai, research analyst with Parks Associates. "Of the 21-22 million U.S. broadband households, approximately 200,000 of them are using broadband wireless services. That estimate includes subscribers to services based on licensed and unlicensed broadband wireless technologies."

Residential rollouts of unlicensed broadband wireless technologies are still largely limited to rural, urban edge, and other underserved markets. Nonetheless, a few independent service providers offering UBW services as part of their service portfolio to both residential and enterprise customers are seeing some success in even the overbuild markets.

"Demand for unlicensed broadband wireless products has been slowly building in the past two years, but market fragmentation may preclude large contracts and make the industry dependent on the growth of the number of wireless ISPs."

© Copyright Rethink Research Associates 2003

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