* Short-range wireless technologies, including Bluetooth, WLAN, UWB and NFC, are battling to be incorporated within mobile handsets
* Enhanced Bluetooth and UWB cable replacement technologies will do little
to enhance service opportunities
* IEEE 802.11 WLAN enhancements will rival DECT in cordless voice applications and surpass Bluetooth and UWB for high-speed interconnection
* NFC opens up major new revenue opportunities for mobile operators, as demonstrated by rapid growth of FeliCa services in Japan
* Report identifies the service opportunities and threats from short-range wireless technologies and evaluates the most likely to succeed
CAMBRIDGE, UK, 21 April 2005 Enhanced IEEE 802.11 WLAN and Near Field Communication (NFC) are the two short-range wireless technologies that could offer the greatest service opportunities for mobile operators if embedded in cellular phones, according to a new report, Product and Service Opportunities from Short-Range Wireless Technologies: WLAN, Bluetooth, UWB and NFC, published by Analysys, the global advisers on telecoms, IT and media (http://research.analysys.com).
“With the emergence of a variety of new short-range wireless technologies, such as Bluetooth and WLAN enhancements, Ultra Wide Band (UWB) and NFC, the battle is on to get these extensively incorporated into mobile handsets,” according to report co-author, Dr Alastair Brydon. “With over 650 million mobile handsets sold in 2004 alone, implementation in mobile devices could offer manufacturers attractive returns based on the prospect of significant economies of scale. However, given the overlaps in capability between some of these technologies, there will inevitably be competition. Not all of them will be successful.”
Bluetooth is already widely deployed in mobile handsets and Bluetooth 2.0 will provide useful (albeit limited) data rate enhancement, to 3Mbit/s, while halving battery consumption. “Bluetooth and UWB will battle to become the preferred cable replacement technology, but they will do little to enhance mobile operators’ service opportunities. This opens the door to WLAN,” says Brydon. Furthermore, the standardisation of UWB has been significantly impeded by a split between to alternative proposals. “If the situation is not quickly resolved,” adds Brydon, “the opportunities for UWB to achieve economies of scale will be seriously damaged, and IEEE 802.11 will be adopted in its place for most applications.”
The report shows that new developments will propel IEEE 802.11 to achieve a lead over rival technologies in terms of economies of scale and scope. IEEE 802.11n and IEEE 802.11e will both extend the capabilities of WLAN technology and enable significant new applications. “By improving the data rate, range and voice support of IEEE 802.11, they offer the prospect of cordless voice services to rival DECT, as well as high-speed networking to surpass UWB,” says report co-author Dr Mark Heath. “The challenge for mobile operators will be to control the development of WLAN services to ensure that they become complementary to cellular services, rather than competitive.”
The report also highlights the potentially substantial impact of a new short-range technology called NFC, which enables electronic devices to automatically exchange information simply by bringing them close together. NFC has emerged from developments by Sony and Philips to improve the usability of consumer devices by allowing users to instigate applications by touching devices together in an intuitive way, similar to people shaking hands. It is now backed by the NFC Forum, including companies such as MasterCard, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, Samsung, Texas Instruments and VISA.
NFC could enable mobile phones to be used as electronic cash, a credit card, a key and an identity card. This opens up substantial new revenue opportunities for mobile operators, handset vendors and service providers. “Japan is already showing the potential of NFC, using Sony’s FeliCa technology, which is a forerunner to NFC,” says Alastair Brydon. Six months after its launch by NTT DoCoMo, over 1 million FeliCa handsets had been sold and 12 000 FeliCa terminals had been deployed throughout Japan. “Mobile operators are in a prime position to seize the many opportunities that NFC could enable.”
The report is available to order from http://research.analysys.com priced at GBP1700 plus VAT. For more information, telephone Analysys Research on +44 (0)1223 460600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Analysys (www.analysys.com)
Analysys provides strategy and management consultancy, information services and start-up support throughout the telecommunications, IT and media sector. Its grasp of market dynamics, coupled with creativity, rigour and renowned objectivity, enables Analysys to consistently exceed the high levels of quality and innovation that its clients expect. The company has over 130 staff in offices in Cambridge, London, Edinburgh, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Washington DC, and works with associates in Auckland, Melbourne and Vancouver.
Recent reports include:
* Product and Service Opportunities from Short-range Wireless Technologies (March 2005)
* The Western European Mobile Market: trends and forecasts 20052010 (March 2005)
* The Telco Organisational Structure beyond 2010 (March 2005)
* Wireless over VoIP: technical and commercial prospects (February 2005)
* Billing for Mobility: strategies for convergent charging (February 2005)
* The World’s Top Ten Wireless Services (January 2005)
* Retaining Customers and Minimising Churn: strategies for mobile markets (December 2004)
* The Business Case for Carrier Migration to VoIP (December 2004)
* Pushing Beyond the Limits of 3G with HSDPA and Other Enhancements (December 2004)
* The Role and Impact of WiMAX and Proprietary BWA (November 2004)
* Making a Success of the Mobile Content Value Chain (November 2004)
* Viable Business Models Point to Big Opportunities for Public WLAN (October 2004)
* Emerging Business Models in Voice: the impact of Skype and other private VoIP applications (September 2004)
* TV and Video Services on a Mobile Phone: the killer application for 3G? (September 2004)
* Delivering High-speed Mobile Internet/Intranet Services: the role for 3G and public WLAN (August 2004)
* The Business Case for Broadband Entertainment (July 2004)
* Western European Fixed Telecoms Markets: forecasts 20042009 (July 2004)
* Spectrum Trading and Liberalisation: new threats and opportunities for telecoms business models (June 2004)
* 3G Launch Strategies: critical decisions on services and technology (June 2004)
* The Road to FixedMobile Substitution Starts with 3G (April 2004)
* VoIP in the US Market: services, business models and regulation (March 2004)
Media contact (for author photography, executive summaries and interviews)
Tel: +44 (0)1223 460600
Tel: +44 1223 244500
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