SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Through wireless access technology - and in some cases public kiosks - business travelers will soon have increased access to broadband connectivity while on the road, according to Cahners In-Stat Group (www.instat.com), a high-tech market research firm.
Business travelers have identified large gaps of non-productivity in their itinerary due to the absence of a broadband connection in airports, on airplanes and at roadside rest stations. As a result, the Multi-Public Unit (MPU) market has risen to cater to the connectivity demands of the ever increasingly mobile business traveler. In-Stat predicts that the MPU services and equipment market will skyrocket from a mere $848 Thousand to $1.2 Billion in 2004, benefiting service providers, equipment manufacturers, building owners and airlines.
``The mission of service providers in this market is to identify every stop on the business traveler`s itinerary as a location for broadband access,`` says Amy Helland, Industry Analyst with In-Stat`s LAN and Enterprise Communications Group. Following this strategy, many MPU service providers are also targeting the hotel market. Service providers vary in their approach to the market, in the technologies that they deploy and in the arenas that they address. To meet the unique needs of business travelers and the various segments associated with their travels, multiple service providers and technologies have emerged. Service providers, partnering with airlines, airports, convention centers and other venues, will make broadband available through two principal access mediums: wireless access points and kiosk technology. Hardware vendors range from large well-established companies such as Lucent, to very new companies emerging to specifically address a component of this market. Because the market is very young, there are still relatively few hardware vendors and service providers focusing on the MPU. ``These companies have been able to assume the role of early market entrants by establishing key relationships in the market. These relationships will allow companies to enjoy entrenched positions as market growth lures in new players and competition escalates,`` says Helland.
In-Stat has also found that:
* Wireless LANs will be the most prevalent public broadband access method, providing optimal end-user mobility, simple installation, low cost and easy system scalability.
* To date most systems are being deployed in the airport and hotel arenas as these are determined to be the most attractive and profitable locations.