AS THE PHENOMENON of wireless and broadband fusion continues, municipal wireless networks expand worldwide, with more cities adopting the technology as the means to provide free, public access to the Internet for residents and businesses.

According to a study released recently by the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based market research firm, In-Stat, worldwide deployments of municipal wireless networks for public Internet access will continue at a rapid pace over the next few years. The report, entitled “Public Muni-Wireless: The Broadband Alternative Takes Hold,” projects the total worldwide market to reach 248 deployment by the end of this year. It will continue to grow, reaching 1,500 by the end of 2010.

The report also notes that the United States will continue to be a world leader in this trend. It currently is, and will remain, the largest market for muni-wireless networks for public access.

Opportunities in these areas exist, especially since the report emphasizes that mesh technology—which can be electrical contractor installed—plays a key role in muni-wireless, but it is not the only technology deployed.            EC