Friday, February 17, 2006

The Advent Of The Wi-Fi Phone Draws Attention

Cellular-New picks up a Dow Jones article on the launch of dual-mode handsets that allow users to operate both over the regular cellular network and over the Internet via Wi-Fi. Neil Mawston at Strategy Analytics thought the "threat presented by these new phones is exaggerated."

According to Strategy Analytics predictions, "wireless LAN - the technology that enables calls over the Internet-- will be in about 12% of handsets by 2010 in comparison to 1% this year."

Mawston said, "There's potential for these phones to steal some mobile minutes in the home. But it's a portable rather than a mobile device really, because W-LAN coverage remains tiny, at about 1%." For the mass market, "it's not really a viable proposition."

Mawston added, "It's a trade-off of cost versus quality and coverage. To me, that's a proposition too focused on the short term."