2002 shaped up to be a coming out party of sorts for the wireless hotspot market.
According to a new study from researcher InStat/MDR (InStat is owned by the same parent as CED), the worldwide footprint for wireless hotspots grew from fewer than 2,000 locations to more than 12,000 over the past year.
InStat predicts similar growth over the next couple of years as the sector reaches eventual maturity.
Europe is expected to become more active in the hotspot market in the coming year, and providers in the Asia-Pacific region are expected to maintain a high level of interest in the technology over the near term as well, InStat said.
In North America, the hotspot sector is expected to heat up with the announcement of some high-profile projects for next year. Specifically, Cometa Networks, a group formed by AT&T, IBM and Intel, has aspirations to deploy more than 20,000 hotspots across the country during its first phase of development.
InStat added that much of the hotspot deployment in the next year will be more focused on specific public venues, including hotels, airports and convention centers.