IDC Finds Technology Mixed with Coffee Is the Recipe for Wireless Internet Access

FRAMINGHAM, MA – JULY 30, 2002 – Despite the well publicized failure of Internet access at Starbucks', IDC expects over 5 million customers to access the Internet through nearly 42,000 available U.S. wireless visitor-based networks (VBNs) by 2006. While hotels and cafes will represent the largest share of available sites, the number of sites in other locations such as libraries, campuses, and even apartment buildings will nearly double their growth rate.


"Notebook computers will be the device of choice for hotspot users," said Keith Waryas, Research Manager, in IDC's Wireless LAN service. "This trend is expected to accelerate given that the PC manufacturers are leveraging embedded wireless LAN as a way to sell more PCs in this increasingly difficult market."

However, usage won't be limited to just PCs. As the cost of access points and embedded 802.11 declines, non-PC devices capable of accessing WiFi networks will proliferate, dramatically increasing both the available market as well as consumer experience with wireless technology. In the near future we can look forward to greater participation from consumer electronic companies who are driving WLAN into new consumer markets such as DSL/Cable boxes, cameras, and radio.

"The availability of next generation carrier networks, and the huge number of hotspots that are starting to come on line are really change the ways we think of and use the Internet" said Waryas. "Very high speed access, combined with the portability and mobility these new networks enable, will make the next few years a very exciting time for both business and consumer Internet users."

IDC's recently released Bridging the Archipelago: U.S. WLAN Hotspot Forecast, 2002-2006 (#27348) examines opportunity and challenges related to the market for hotspots in the U.S. and forecasts demand (subscribers), availability (total hotspot locations, by location type), and the subscriber revenue opportunity. To purchase this document, call IDC's volume sales hotline at 508-988-7988 or email

About IDC

IDC is the foremost global market intelligence and advisory firm helping clients gain insight into technology and ebusiness trends to develop sound business strategies. Using a combination of rigorous primary research, in-depth analysis, and client interaction, IDC forecasts worldwide markets and trends to deliver dependable service and client advice. More than 700 analysts in 43 countries provide global research with local content. IDC's customers comprise the world's leading IT suppliers, IT organizations, ebusiness companies, and the financial community. Additional information can be found at

IDC is a division of IDG, the world's leading IT media, research and exposition company.


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