Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Considering Wi-Fi Kiosks

This is an interesting topic that I've thought about quite a bit lately, so it was nice to see this article at Kiosk Marketplace that talks about the current state of the industry of Wi-Fi hotspot kiosks. As they say:
"With more devices Internet-enabled — and more of them sold — with each passing day, the number of potential Wi-Fi users is soaring. Statistics are fuzzy given the newness of the topic, but according to a directory of hotspots maintained by JiWire, there are almost 80,000 Wi-Fi locations worldwide, the vast majority of which (more than 30,000) are in the United States. Dataquest, a research firm located in India, estimates that the total number worldwide will grow to 200,000 by 2008."
However, it's not clear-cut as to the long-term viability of the model, since emerging technologies including "real" 3G cellular service, WiMax, and even public municipal Wi-Fi networks will encroach on paid-for Wi-Fi's territory, allowing customers multiple (and often free) ways to get online instead of paying for the service.

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