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Electronics Production | March 17, 2006

Global wireless hardware market grows

A new report from Juniper Research finds that the global market for mobile and wireless hardware, software and services in local government will grow exponentially from $802m in 2005 to $8.6bn in 2010.
Juniper´s wide-ranging research and industry interview programme show that independent wireless networks capable of interoperation with 2G and 3G systems are central to the mobile future for local government. WiFi has been widely used since 2002 for wireless broadband in local government networks but the much greater range and higher data-transfer speeds of WiMAX will drive its emergence as a wide-area broadband infrastructure solution for local authorities.

The report´s author, Dr Douglas Houston, writes, "802.16 technologies are set to have wide market impact over the next 5 years. Major operators worldwide including BT and AT&T have conducted WiMAX trials. Among their objectives has been the testing of 802.16 wireless networks´ effectiveness in extending existing services to remote locations without wired infrastructures. The standard´s ability to provide wireless broadband backbones is making it of considerable interest for government and education in developing countries."

Mobile broadband connectivity brings major operational benefits to local government. The report´s coverage of current activity, pilot trials, and research highlights the advantages of wireless broadband in terms of efficiency, flexibility, and cost-effectiveness.

The report´s findings include the following:
- Local government mobile and wireless expenditure on systems software will rise from $0.12bn (2005) to $1.3bn (2010), overtaking expenditure on systems hardware, which will stand at $1.1bn by 2010.

- Portable and handheld end-user telecommunications devices will form the largest component of overall local government expenditure on mobile and wireless systems will generate revenues of $3.4bn by 2010.

- Advances in memory capacity, display and input technology, and seamless interoperability will gradually raise the number of handheld devices acquired annually for local authority use to 10m by 2010, overtaking procurement of wireless laptops.

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