by Anton Shilov
06/30/2006 | 12:54 PM
Mobile phones featuring Wi-Fi connectivity will get higher popularity in general and in the
“In the end, most U.S. cellular carriers will embrace Wi-Fi in their handsets, as carriers know that if they don’t, other carriers will, and these carriers will likely steal away some of their customers. . Combo handsets also offer carriers opportunities to provide services such as VoIP over Wi-Fi, lessening impact on their cellular data system,” says Allen Nogee, an In-Stat analyst.
In-Stat believes that by 2010, shipments of cellular handsets containing Wi-Fi will exceed 132 million devices, even though this will not be a really widespread feature when compared to the overall number of mobile phones worldwide, which is likely to rise to 3 billion, according to some other estimations.
In-stat claims in a recent research note that more than 20 cellular handset models now have, or will soon be, released with embedded Wi-Fi access. A few cellular carriers are planning to offer services that support voice calls over both cellular and Wi-Fi, and some Wi-Fi/Cellular handsets are incorporating voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) clients for services like Skype.
The firm also indicated that while it had been assumed that business customers would be first to adopt Wi-Fi/Cellular handsets, but in fact consumers are likely to be more receptive to early adoption of the technology.
Carriers have been reluctant to offer Wi-Fi-capable handsets for several reasons, the main was a concern that customers will cease to dial lucrative international numbers from the phones and will employ VoIP services instead. However, recently carriers like Vodafone in the