Feeds

Wireless devices to break one-billion barrier in 2011

Tiny ticking time bombs?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

This year, devices with embedded wireless local area networking (WLAN) capability will top one billion for the first time. By 2015, that number will double – and some people are terrified that their ubiquity will spark an electromagnetic apocalypse.

These figures come from a study published on Friday by IHS iSuppli. According to that research group's projections, worldwide shipments of WLAN-enabled devices will reach 1.2 billion in 2011, up over 35 per cent from 2010's 880.4 billion units. By 2015, IHS iSuppli projects that 2.2 billion of the devices will ship.

"In today's world of connected electronics, consumers expect seamless access to Internet communications, services and content in any place and at any time," said Dr. Jagdish Rebello, the research group's senior director and principal analyst for communications and consumer electronics.

Wireless-penetration projections by IHS iSuppli

Wireless devices poised to conquer the world (source: IHS iSuppli)

The growth in WLAN-enabled devices has been led by cell phones, with 512.8 million units projected to ship this year. Mobile PCs are a distant number two, with 230.1 million set to ship in 2011.

Future WLAN-enabled device growth, however, will be spurred by newer categories of embedded devices. IHS iSuppli contends that automotive installations will lead the growth curve, with a compound annual growth rate of 98.2 per cent from 2010 to 2015. WLAN-enabled televisions will be close behind, with a growth rate of 77.8 per cent during the same period.

While the technorati may welcome this burst of wireless connectivity, other segments of the population aren't so sure that such an increase in wireless communication is safe.

Take, for example, the groundswell of opposition to Califonia utility provider PG&E's efforts to equip its customers with RF-enabled, usage-tracking SmartMeters. These benighted devices have encountered a host of non-WLAN problems, such as exorbitant bills and alleged explosions, but it's their RF-communication ability that has set sensitive teeth on edge in the Golden State.

SmartMeters, according to some PG&E customers, have sparked cases of "electromagnetic hypersensitivity" (EHS), with symptoms ranging from rashes to dizziness to heart palpitations to what the World Health Organization delicately describes as "digestive disturbances".

That same WHO report on EHS, however, concludes that "EHS has no clear diagnostic criteria and there is no scientific basis to link EHS symptoms to EMF exposure."

That reassurance, however, didn't stop the EMF Safety Network from filing a formal complaint with the California Public Utilities Commission, claiming that "Scientific studies show evidence of biological harm from RF exposure, at levels far below the [Federal Communications Commission] safety standard."

It should be noted that SmartMeters emit about one watt of RF, which is less than most cell phones. And, needless to say, few PG&E customers hold their utility meters upside their heads.

Still, with a doubling of WLAN-capable devices by 2015, expect more and louder complaints from folks who claim that their electrical meters, cars, and televisions are out to get them. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
EE: STILL Blighty's best mobe network, says 'Frappucino' Moore
Fresh round of network stats fisticuffs possibly on the cards here
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app
An app and service where other people 'see' for you
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.