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Tablet sales to hit 99.3 million this year



Investment Bank, JP Morgan estimates that tablet sales will rise to 99.3 million this year. This, coupled with the increasing sales of smartphones will result in service providers, enterprises and public sector organisations adopting Wi-Fi to cater for the wireless demand.

Investment Bank JP Morgan estimates that sales of tablets will soar to 99.3 million in 2012, which coupled with the ever-increasing sales of smartphones, will result in more fixed line and wireless service providers, enterprises and public sector organisations adopting Wi-Fi to cater for the insatiable demand for wireless connectivity. In fact, Chris Bruce, Chairman of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, stated that 2011 marked the beginning of ‚the golden age of public Wi-Fi’ which mirrors the sentiments of Ruckus Wireless, a provider of advanced wireless systems for the mobile network market.

According to Ruckus Wireless, as the demand for Wi-Fi connectivity increases the market will experience the following specific developments during 2012:

· Capacity will matter as much as coverage 2012

Wi-Fi capacity will become just as important an issue as Wi-Fi coverage in 2012 and service providers will have to deploy Wi-Fi networks with the bandwidth to cope with highly populated and dense environments, such as the crowds of spectators expected at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

This will become apparent as more wireless operators offload data traffic onto Wi-Fi networks and Wi-Fi hotspots become universally accessible thanks to the adoption of the 802.11u standard, which will allow users to roam seamlessly between hotspots without the need for constant authentication. It is estimated that service providers will spend up to $1 billion worldwide on Wi-Fi network expansion to support the need for greater capacity.

· Three Wi-Fi devices per-person

As sales of smartphones and tablets with Wi-Fi capabilities continue to increase at a rapid rate we estimate that the average number of Wi-Fi enabled devices per person will reach three in 2012. Tablets have been adopted by consumers and businesses alike and they are optimised for entertainment consumption and corporate use. Apart from smartphones and tablets other Wi-Fi enabled-devices include laptops, games consoles and printers. Many users are now taking their devices into the workplace, and into schools or universities, to act as a substitute for a PC to conduct a range of different tasks.

In addition to the above, Ruckus Wireless predicts that:

‚Based on the accelerating activity of the past six months, the industry can expect to see rapid expansion of Wi-Fi networks worldwide that will open up new markets and enable broadband users to enjoy the truly reliable and high-bandwidth experience they’ve been waiting for,‚ concludes Michael Fletcher, Sales Director: Sub-Saharan Africa at Ruckus Wireless.