January 12th, 2006

802.11n – Too much? too little? too soon? too late?

With today’s announcements, it looks like we are drawing closer to a 802.11n industry standard.

Is it too much?

Does a mobile device need 802.11n? According to our research there is significant interest in mobile video, but not necessarily in the home. I have mobile TV on my cell phone. Obviously, it’s delivered over the cellular network. I think it looks great – both Vcast and MobiTV on Sprint. I’ve also seen the mobile version of Sling delivered to a handset via cellular networks – looks great as well.

Wish my home DSL line had 100 Mbps.

Is it too little?

According to our forecasts for home bandwidth, tech savvy households will be able to consume a significant portion of the estimated 100 Mbps that this technology will deliver – if wireless can do so reliably with high QoS.

Too soon?

Not necessarily, but at least in the consumer market, there will not be many households in the high tech category trying to move multiple HD streams around their household. That said, hopefully more of the pieces required to move content from the PC to the living room will be in place – not as individual components – but as a working system so that consumers can take advantage of the new network capabilities.

Too late?

Probably not. Most users according to our research are using their Wi-Fi networks for utilitarian purposes – sharing an Internet connection. That said, there are quite a few interested in streaming video once it’s easy and there is more content online.

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