Spiralling consumer demand for network services will lead to wireless home bandwidth requirements jumping by a whopping 1,800 per cent to 57Mbps by 2009, research has claimed.
According to a newly released study from JupiterResearch, wireless bandwidth requirements for the typical broadband home with a wireless network will grow from less than 3Mbps in 2004 to a likely 57Mbps in 2009.
The analyst group estimates that tech-savvy households of three individuals will require wireless bandwidth of up to 84Mbps, driven primarily by changes in the home use of consumer electronics and changing consumption patterns for digital media at home.
Overall, in 2004 some 7.5 million US households indicated that they have a home network that is at least partly wireless.
JupiterResearch forecasts that the number of wireless home network households in the US will rise to 34.3 million by 2009.
The top reason consumers install a home wireless network is for sharing internet access, according to a recent JupiterResearch consumer survey cited in the report.
But alternative uses of wireless networks, such as streaming music from a PC to the home stereo, are experiencing a quick uptake, according to information from leading vendors in this area.
Streaming content is expected to represent one of the biggest shifts in behaviour as consumers move away from unlinked distributed devices to the centralised storage, management and synchronisation of media centres.
"Consumers are beginning to shift their paradigms for internet access, home networking and digital content management," said Julie Ask, a research director at JupiterResearch.
"The number of consumer electronics devices using a wireless network in the home could explode over the next five years, driving bandwidth requirements beyond today's offerings."
David Schatsky, senior vice president of research at JupiterResearch, added: "To exploit this trend, consumer electronics manufacturers will increasingly need to conceive of their products as always-on nodes in a wireless network.
"Vendors of wireless networking gear will need to adapt their products for a role as consumer electronics and digital media enablers."
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