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Chinese Hotspots Set To Boom: Report

A new study commissioned by the Wi-Fi Alliance predicts that the Chinese enterprise Wi-Fi market will balloon fourfold, at an annual growth rate of 45% over the next three years.

Conducted by the Chinese research firm Analysys International, the study found that increased broadband penetration in the enterprise and consumer markets and increasingly affordable Wi-Fi-enabled laptops are driving vigorous growth. Analysys predicts that the market for non-embedded Wi-Fi equipment like access points
and external network cards will exceed 10 billion Yuan by 2008.

Chinese telcos are already heavily invested in deploying Wi-Fi services, with ten thousand hotspots already set up around the country. Carriers are beginning to offer wireless networking as a value-added supplement to consumer broadband service, and Analysys reports that the country's building boom will only accelerate market penetration as developers expected to equip new homes with Wi-Fi.

"Wi-Fi is strongly positioned for indoor coverage. With the expected 3G development in China, operators will pay more attention to promising FMC (Fixed Mobile Convergence) services," Analysys International's Vice President of Research Eagle Zhang said in a statement. "Wi-Fi and 3G will be a good choice of China carriers in the initial stage of FMC."