Home IT boom may herald end of fixed networks

Home IT boom may herald end of fixed networks

Twenty-one per cent of homes in the US will be networked with wireless and wired technology by the year 2005 in what may spell the end of fixed networks.

Multiple home PCs and mobile phones will drive the trend, according to a study released last week by Strategy Analytics, a UK-based telecom and new media analysis firm.

By 2005, 19 per cent of US households will have wireless networks, connecting 77 million devices, the report said, while roughly 11 per cent of US homes will have wired networks.

Some homes will have both, making the total number of networked homes 21 per cent.

Eventually, wireless networking will become more widespread than wired networking, according to David Mercer, the study's author.

The gradual adoption of wireless networking will be driven by increased usage of mobile devices - such as phones and PDAs (personal digital assistants) - that are likely to be sold with Bluetooth capability, the report said.

Bluetooth is a standard that allows mobile phones, handheld devices and PCs transmit voice and data without wires at up to 1Mbps within a radius of 10 metres.

More than 800 companies around the world are working to develop the standard and products for the standard.


"We may see some Bluetooth products by the end of the year, or certainly within 12 months," Mercer said.

In Europe, 15 per cent of houses will have wireless networks by that time, connecting 88 million devices. Only 4 per cent of European households will be networked with wired technology, according to the report. Again, some homes will have both networking technologies so that the total number of European networked homes will be 16 per cent, Mercer said.

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