Wi-Fi enables economic and social development

By : |March 28, 2008 0

BANGALORE, INDIA: Wi-Fi technology adoption is on the rise in India, and the world’s most pervasive wireless local networking technology is enabling social and economic development across the region, according to new research sponsored by the Wi-Fi Alliance and conducted by Tonse Telecom.

The report, titled “Wi-Fi in India: A Key Enabler of Economic, Social and Community Development,” cites growing laptop sales, rising broadband penetration, and pervasive use of mobile phones for rich content transfer as key harbingers of widespread Wi-Fi use among a growing segment of India’s more than 1.1 billion citizens.

The study forecasts that by 2011-2012, the market for Wi-Fi networking gear and services (excluding laptops, handsets, and chipsets) in India will top U S 890 million, marking a 36 percent compound annual growth rate from 2008.

With real estate development exceeding 30 percent annual growth, deployment of Wi-Fi networks in new residential, retail and corporate construction is cited as a key opportunity for Wi-Fi device manufacturers and service providers. The paper builds on previous research sponsored by the Wi-Fi Alliance and released in February 2007. 

The report profiles the work of a non-profit organization, Byrraju Foundation, which leverages Wi-Fi technology to connect rural farmers to experts in agriculture, remote patients to doctors, and young villagers to training and employment opportunities. Also profiled in the report, startup venture O-Zone has set its sights on urban development, bringing Wi-Fi service to consumers and mobile workers at home, in public places, and on the corporate campus.

We have numerous members both within and outside of India who have set their sights on this exciting market, and clearly there is plenty of opportunity,” said Wi-Fi Alliance executive director Edgar Figueroa. “Since Wi-Fi is a powerful, affordable, and proven technology, it is being used in innovative ways to aid the development of India’s economy.” 

Wi-Fi adoption patterns will be unique in India. According to the report, Wi-Fi adoption is likely to occur via handsets as well as notebook computers in India. India’s more than 240 million cellular subscribers increasingly use handsets for entertainment and social networking applications. With Wi-Fi increasingly deployed as a feature on the handset and the Wi-Fi hotspot footprint on the rise, many Indian residents are likely to use Wi-Fi without ever owning a computer. 

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