Report: Consumers interested in Wi-Fi primarily for data transmission

Aug. 17, 2005 - In-Stat says consumer-electronics manufacturers seeking to tap into the market must educate the masses about Wi-Fi's full capabilities.

The results of an In-Stat (www.in-stat.com) survey of U.S. consumers shows that while respondents' existing home networks are fairly even split between wired Ethernet and Wi-Fi, future home network deployments are largely planned as Wi-Fi networks. The 640 consumers participating in the survey chose data-networking applications over consumer-electronics applications as those for which they were most interested in using Wi-Fi connectivity.

"Consumer-electronics vendors have a challenge to educate consumers about Wi-Fi and to overcome the perception that Wi-Fi is simply a data-networking technology," says Norm Bogen, In-Stat analyst. "Nevertheless, Wi-Fi silicon vendors have fully committed to this market segment, and In-Stat believes the benefits to consumers of Wi-Fi connectivity in consumer-electronics devices are significant enough to build a major market segment over the next five years."

In-Stat's recent report entitled "Untethered Fun: WLAN in Consumer Electronics Consumer Survey" covers the results and analysis of the survey, conducted in June 2005. Among the findings in the report are the following.
*The challenges that Wi-Fi faces in terms of range, bandwidth, security, and quality-of-service are being addressed by new standards that have either recently been ratified or are set to be ratified over the next several years.
*The prevalence of wireless network availability, especially in home networks, makes it increasingly likely that any consumer-electronics device would benefit from Wi-Fi connectivity.
*More PCs in a respondent's household was positively correlated with a greater likelihood of having heard of Wi-Fi being used in various devices.

The survey examined consumers' knowledge, attitudes, and actions regarding Wi-Fi as a home-networking technology in general, and as a means of wirelessly connecting consumer-electronic devices in particular.

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