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DSL, Wi-Fi Chip Away at Cable Modem Market Share

Broadband subscribers -- especially residential users -- looking for the highest available speeds have made cable a popular access choice. But, according to analysts from different firms, cable is going to experience an uptick in competition.

Worldwide, the base of cable modem subscribers is projected to more than double between last year and 2008, going from 32.8 million to 69.4 million, according to a study just released by IDC.

In the U.S., cable remains the top choice for broadband -- with about 50 percent more subscribers than DSL. By far, the majority of U.S. cable customers are residential users, although IDC's projections also call for about 2.5 million business cable modem subscribers by 2008.

But around the world, DSL has become the top choice. And by the end of the decade, wireless broadband will join DSL and cable as a major player in the market-share battle, according to new study by Visant Strategies. By 2009, Visant analysts project that wireless broadband will be growing faster than wire-line due to acceptance of technologies such as 802.16/WiMAX. Sales of WiMAX equipment will hit $2.2 billion in five years, Visant believes.

Synergy between fixed wireless systems and mobile IP-based solutions will act as a catalyst for broadband wireless access and 802.16 growth.

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