Feeds

A sunny future for European hotspots?

Cash cow - or lamb to the slaughter

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

An optimistic research forecasts a bright outlook for European wireless hotspots. ON World, a small US-based wireless technology research firm, predicts that European hotspots will generate $1bn (€0.83bn) for operators by 2009. There will be 174,000 hotspots in the region by that time, generating $898m (€741.32m) in revenues, according to the report, "European Hotspots: A Rapidly Growing Ecosystem".

"Hotspots are a way for European fixed line operators to extend their broadband networks and for mobile operators to finally profit their 3G investments," said Colin Carroll, a senior research analyst for ON World. "European fixed line and mobile network operators today have evolved from debating about whether the hotspot business model makes sense or not to chasing after choice locations."

The European environment is nearly ideal for offering public broadband access, according to ON World, due to its concentrated population, high mobile phone penetration, growing broadband adoption, cafe culture and centralised telecom infrastructure.

User adoption, however, continues to drag because of high access costs, limited roaming and because managed network providers bought out Wireless Internet Service Providers (WISPs) before they had a chance to educate the market at the local level.

ON World believes these limitations are only short term and the network operators who dwell on these problems will miss out on a "powerful way to extend their broadband reach and create compelling new services and sources of revenue".

In contrast to ON World's rather optimistic outlook, many other research analysts predict challenges for European hotspot providers.

A January report by London-based consultancy, BroadGroup, found that while the market is moving towards standardised tariffs, competition from North American players looms. The company examined service tariff categories offered by 97 providers in 20 countries across Europe and Eastern Europe.

Entry by North American companies with significantly lower price levels and, although very limited at present, could have a major impact in the long term.

ON World, meanwhile, predicts that only about 15 per cent of all European hotspot users will be frequent users and most of these will be subscribers.

"The land grab phase of the hotspot rollout in Europe is quickly closing," Carroll said, "and as Wi-Fi devices proliferate, the next phase of Wi-Fi enabled services will soon arrive."

© ENN

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?
An ideal product if you believe the Earth is flat
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
BlackBerry: Toss the server, mate... BES is in the CLOUD now
BlackBerry Enterprise Services takes aim at SMEs - but there's a catch
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.