Is Wi-Fi and cellular network integration on the horizon? Infonetics thinks so. In its latest report, “Carrier Wi-Fi Offload and Hotspot Strategies: Global Service Provider Survey,” the research firm believes that mobile operators are fully supportive of methods to use Wi-Fi as a way to offload cellular network use, and that in the near future, closer integration between the two protocols will result in an offloading experience that is intelligent, automated, and seamless. Other highlights:
- Two-thirds of the service providers interviewed have already deployed 20,000 to over 150,000 Wi-Fi access points in public spaces.
- Street coverage is seen as one of the areas of concern for Wi-Fi coverage; by 2013, the percentage of service providers planning to deploy Wi-Fi for street coverage will rise to 79%.
- Nearly all carriers surveyed plan to increase the number of access points deployed by 2013, so Infonetics expects significant carrier deployment over the coming year.