By 2004, access to the Net via public kiosks and wireless access points will be worth around $US1.2 billion, according to the latest research conducted by Cahners In-Stat Group.
The company claims periods of non-productivity while business travellers wait at airports, on planes or at roadside rest stops - due to limited broadband Internet access - has seen the emergence of what it dubs the Multi-Public Unit (MPU) market.
"The mission of service providers in this market is to identify every stop on the business traveller's itinerary as a location for broadband access," says Amy Helland, industry analyst with In-Stat's LAN and Enterprise Communications Group.
In-Stat predicts that the MPU services and equipment market will explode from a mere $848,000 to $1.2 billion in 2004 - the benefactors being service providers, equipment manufacturers, building owners and airlines.
The market appears most open for some non-traditional partnering approaches, including service providers and airlines, convention centres and other venues.
Access is made available through wireless access points and less popular kiosk-style hardware. In-Stat has found the technology is being provided by existing networking heavyweights like Lucent, and emerging specialist players.
"These companies have been able to assume the role of early market entrants by establishing key relationships in the market. These relationships will allow companies to enjoy entrenched positions as market growth lures in new players and competition escalates," says Helland.
The report is titled John Q. Public Gets Connected: The Emerging Public Space Broadband Access Market , and costs $US3495.www.instat.com/catalog/cat-rc.htm#rc0008ac