By 2010, municipal Wi-Fi networks will cover 126,000 square miles (over 325,000 square km) worldwide, an increase from about 1,500 square miles in 2005 (3885 square kilometers), says a new report from ABI Research.
More than one million wireless mesh routers, generating revenues of over $1.2 billion, will be shipped in 2010 to service those networks, ABI concludes.
ABI says the growth of municipal Wi-Fi is being driven by several trends, including use of the wireless networks for public safety and increased efficiency. In addition, alternative ISPs view see Wi-Fi mesh networking as an inexpensive way to compete with incumbent service providers, and to provide broadband access to underserved areas. In addition, cable companies may ultimately turn to providing municipal Wi-Fi networks as a way to compete with telecos.