It’s the nature of telecommunications and Internet providers and designers to continually innovate and break new ground. Landlines gave way to cell phones, and dialup gave way to broadband. Now, we are in the wireless age.
By all accounts, wireless is taking over on multiple fronts at home and at work. Reports from various sources detail the growing popularity of wireless technology as a means of transmitting information, communicating, entertaining and networking.
The most obvious example of the move to wireless is the surging popularity of cell phones. A novelty a decade ago, now they are essential. Not only have they become a must-have, but they are also quickly pushing landlines out of the nest. According to a report released in April from the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than one in four American households (26.6 percent) had only wireless telephones as of the first half of 2010. This represented an eight-fold increase over a 6-year period.
Along the same lines, more Americans are conducting their personal business with their mobile phones, and we’re not just talking about dialing up a restaurant to make a dinner reservation. If Internet banking changed the way we paid our bills, smart phones have helped us take it on the road. A study released in April by the Scottsdale, Ariz.-based market research firm In-Stat examines the mobile payment market structure. The report projects the number of annual mobile payment transactions to increase to 45 billion in 2015.
In-Stat released two more reports in April that provide additional details about the growing universe of wireless. One study looks at the Wi-Fi Direct-enabled devices, such as PCs, mobile phones, printers, keyboards, digital televisions, set-top boxes, cameras and others. The report projects the shipment of Wi-Fi Direct-enabled devices to surge to 173 million in 2011.
In addition, wireless is expanding in the workplace. In-Stat also released a report that looks at business spending on 3G and 4G nonhandset devices, such as tablets, notebooks and e-readers. According to the report, overall spending in this segment grew nearly 30 percent from 2009 to 2010.