ABI Research recently released its latest report, "Carrier Wi-Fi and Mobile Offload," which examines the "ecosystem and outlook" for carrier Wi-Fi and mobile offload. The report also covers the relevant technology and market drivers for the carrier Wi-Fi market, while profiling 23 companies in the sector.
Carrier Wi-Fi is defined as Wi-Fi that is provided as a service to mobile carrier customers, owned and operated directly or indirectly by the carrier – e.g. a third-party hotspot provider.
According to ABI, global revenue for carrier Wi-Fi access points and controllers will reach $2.2 billion by 2017 – a level of revenue equivalent to nearly half of the traditional enterprise or consumer/SOHO Wi-Fi segments in the same period.
Last year, the majority of the market was accounted for by Cisco, Ruckus Wireless and Ericsson/BelAir, but ABI expects these early market share rankings to fluctuate as traditional mobile infrastructure vendors enter the industry.
“While carrier Wi-Fi is still in relative infancy today, the drive by mobile operators to offload data traffic is providing a significant boost to this segment of the market,” Nick Marshall, principal analyst for mobile networks at ABI, said in a press release.
Carrier Wi-Fi rollout has been slow going up until now, due to a lack of standards which make the process seamless and transparent for subscribers.
“We believe that with standardization initiatives well under way – like Hotspot 2.0 and the almost universal inclusion of Wi-Fi in every smartphone, PC and tablet being built today – carrier controlled Wi-Fi is expected to see wide-scale adoption, especially in markets like North America, Japan and South Korea,” added Marshall.
ABI Research also released another report this week, which analyzes the smartphone market. The report states that although smartphone shipments grew 41 percent year over year to 144.6 million as of the end of the first quarter of 2012, many smartphone OEMs aren't seeing market expansion. This is largely due to Apple and Samsung claiming 55 percent of global smartphone shipments so far this year.
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Edited by Braden Becker