Wi-Fi to Change Face of Computing: Analysts

By @NY Staff

Wi-Fi, or wireless technology based on the 802.11b networking standard, has the potential to change the face of computing over the next five years, according to technology analysts at investment firm Bear Stearns.

In a recent research report “Wi-Fi – Cordless Computing: Through the Air with Greatest of Ease,” technology analysts Andrew Neff and Ted Chung examined how the use of the networking standard could affect dozens of publicly traded companies, as access to the networking hubs expands and demand grows.

Their conclusion: the cutting-edge networking system has the potential to redefine the face of computing over the next five years by enabling users to compute wirelessly.

“Similar to the changes brought about with the arrival of cellular and cordless phones, wireless connectivity for computing has the potential to open doors and expand market opportunities for industry players,” wrote Neff.

Neff and Chung said they believe the primary push for Wi-Fi demand will come from markets where users are largely away from their desks all day, such as with sales, factory floor, service and delivery personnel. But they also predict a substantial demand from enterprise and home users too because of the convenience.

Since there are really no “pure play” Wi-Fi companies, they expect the earliest investment interest to go to semiconductor and network equipment companies.

Other areas of growth they expect to see with Wi-Fi as an enabling technology are horizontal and vertical markets, such as notebook computer, handheld tablets and wireless ISPs.

The report profiles more than 55 companies, public and private, that could have a role in the burgeoning market for Wi-Fi enabling technologies, including Apple , Dell , Palm , Symbol Technologies and Cisco .

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