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Wireless Networking China Networking Stats The Internet Technology

42% of Worldwide Households Expected To Have Wi-Fi By 2016 91

Posted by timothy
from the this-seems-like-a-high-estimate dept.
retroworks writes "'Wi-Fi network use will nearly double in homes around the world come 2016, according to new Strategy Analytics research. Already used in some 439 million households worldwide, equivalent to 25% of all households, Wi-Fi home network penetration will expand to 42%.' The report says China already has the highest home Wi-Fi use."
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42% of Worldwide Households Expected To Have Wi-Fi By 2016

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  • Channel Crowding (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2012 @03:32PM (#39608561)

    I hope there appears some solution to the channel crowding already extant with so many home wireless networks. With only channels 1-11 available, and those overlapping with each other, it's already difficult to try to find a clear niche of spectrum. I live in a rural town about 30 miles from the nearest major metropolitan area, and still I count around 15 wireless networks within detectable range.

    Basically, it's all just too crowded.

    Either the FCC needs to open up some more surrounding spectrum to use, 5ghz networks need to pick up in popularity, or some other technology needs to become available.

    • Re:Channel Crowding (Score:5, Interesting)

      by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @03:49PM (#39608655) Journal
      It would certainly be nice for the FCC to cut out some more spectrum, I'd say that WiFi has proven to be of enormous value despite living in the wireless war zone that is 2.4GHz, and is amply deserving of more.

      In the meantime(and/or forever, since it seems to be an accepted truth that any available spectrum is either the god-given right of legacy broadcasters or must be sweethearted to a cellular Telco as quickly as possible lest the terrorists win) it would be nice for access points to 'back off' more intelligently.

      A limited number of AP deployments are actually looking for maximum range. The rest only actually want enough range to handle the X devices in the household; and any spillover is useless or worse. It would be useful for the client and the access point to be able to exchange information with each other on signal quality, and settle on minimum levels needed for the distance and speed required.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Wifi improvements are achieved because of the limited spectrum. The problem with the "more power" approach is obvious. The virtually same problem exists with "more bandwidth". More bandwidth will not lessen the congestion, because access points will use wider bands instead of allowing more access points to use non-overlapping bands.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        2.4GHz is overcrowded, but 5GHz is sorely underused. Don't blame the FCC, blame device manufacturers for not make 5GHz-capable products.

        • They do, and have been for years. Blame people who still go out and buy 2.4Ghz devices; since buying more would surely make prices go down (as always with this sort of thing).

    • Re:Channel Crowding (Score:5, Interesting)

      by AngryDeuce (2205124) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @04:46PM (#39609017)

      I wish I had mod points for you, I really do...

      In my apartment, there are literally 30+ networks within range at all times, and to make matter worse, they channel surf up and down the band constantly. It didn't matter what channel you picked, if it was clear enough to be attractive, within a few minutes there would be a handful of other networks camped on top of yours as they constantly searched for clean channels.

      I ended up having to go completely hard-lined because I couldn't even pull down 5 meg on a wireless-N connection 15 feet from the router, so now I've got wires across my ceilings and around doorways and shit all over my apartment, but at least I can pull down the 30 meg service I'm paying for. I just did a quick search with the Wifi scanner app on my phone just now and there are 12 networks parked on channel 5, 7 on channel 7, and the rest are just sitting here chasing each other up the band as I watch in real-time.

      There needs to be a better way for routers to communicate with each other when they are within interference range and negotiate channel assignments because it's only going to get worse as more phones and shit come out with built in hotspots of their own, not to mention automobiles out in front of the damn building as well competing for spectrum.

      • One of my clients is on the 21st floor of a building in Houston. He wanted to go WiFi. About six months later, he was having major connectivity problems. According to the access points and a few other wireless utilities, the entire spectrum is flooded! His office is basically acting as one giant parabolic dish collecting this shit. One of my WiFi utilities crashed when it reached just over 100 AP in range.

  • Cheaper, faster, more reliable, doesn't have compatibility issues and unlike wifi adapters lasts much longer than two years. It requires some work to set up but you only have to do it once.

    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Good luck convincing people to spend hundreds running Unshielded Twisted Pair throughout their houses when a $30 wireless router works straight out of the box, and it lets you move around the house without plugging/unplugging.

      Parent must be a charter member of Luddites for the Loss.

      • by Hentes (2461350)

        Hundreds? Cable is very cheap, it only cost me about 10$. And the big problem with wifi that it does not work out of the box, you have to configure it for every computer and OS you have, and repeat the process after every big update, and if there are no problems it works. Also, you forgot to include the cost of the adapters, which more than doubles the cost.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          The cable isn't the part that makes it expensive. The install is. Easy enough when building new, nut a retrofit is another problem. Figure fifty bucks a pop and it adds up.

        • by gman003 (1693318)

          Oh yes, you have to *type in a password* to use the Wifi. How ever will ordinary people learn how to do something as complicated and technical as that?

        • by ceoyoyo (59147)

          "And the big problem with wifi that it does not work out of the box, you have to configure it for every computer and OS you have, and repeat the process after every big update, and if there are no problems it works."

          Or you could use a real operating system. I configured my wifi router exactly once, and that was to enable security. Any new machine, including anybody who visits, needs the SSID and password. That's it.

          Have you actually used wifi since the 90s?

    • by vux984 (928602)

      It requires some work to set up but you only have to do it once.

      Of course you look like an idiot wandering around the house with your tablet and a 50' cable... assuming you can find a tablet that has a jack to plug it into.

      I agree wired is best, but for a lot of stuff wired makes no sense, or isn't even an option. I don't want to use a cable when using my laptop on the kitchen table, or out in the balcony on a sunny day, or the living room couch... and we have several devices that are wifi only:

      iPhone (sure

      • by Hentes (2461350)

        You are right, and I did keep the old wifi router because of the phones. But as every phone today has a microUSB port it should be possible to connect them to a networked computer for someone without wifi (I don't know about you but I simply can't imagine "wandering around" while browsing. Even when I'm not home I always find me a table to sit down to, or a bench if I'm outside).

        • by fa2k (881632)

          as every phone today has a microUSB port it should be possible to connect them to a networked computer for someone without wifi

          Android can do this ("reverse tethering") if rooted. IMHO it should be supported by default though, useful in offices where there is no wi-fi, in hotels with wired connections and especially in places with obnoxious captive web portals that require you to type a password if inactive for 15 mins.

        • by vux984 (928602)

          (I don't know about you but I simply can't imagine "wandering around" while browsing. Even when I'm not home I always find me a table to sit down to, or a bench if I'm outside).

          Sure... and if you start downloading something at a table, while logged into another PC doing some remote admin and then decide to relocate to a bench outside.

          Me... I just pickup the laptop and walk from the table to the bench.

          You apparently have to wait for the download to complete or pause it, terminate your active connections, unp

    • So when my wife is browsing the net form her iPad and my daughter is downloading to her smartphone through the WiFi, and my son connects his Nintendo 3DS to the network, exactly how are they going to replace this with UTP?


      I have 3 (stationary) PCs and my TVs connected on UTP, but more and more devices are just not suitable for it. And there are just so many. Between us, the family now have close to 20 network capable devices (everything from DSis and iPods to PCs and TV decoders). Cabling for all of that
    • by DAldredge (2353)
      Rather hard to connect a cable to a TouchPad, Lumia 900 or the like.
    • I still don't get how I plug the UTP into my cell phone, or my PSP. I also feel it to be slightly uncomfortable going around the house with my laptop and a very very long cable following me around.

      UTP is great for desktops, and is what's most commonly used. Regrettably, average joe tends to buy more laptop/netbook/tablet/cellphone than desktops.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 07, 2012 @03:38PM (#39608587)

    I haven't visited anyone without wifi in over a decade.

    Sudden realization of selection bias...happens so much to us nerds :)

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Wi-Fi's the Answer to Everything.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    A large percentage of households wordwide don't even have electricity.

    Wifi is well down the list after running water and drains.

    • I've got a laundry list of intestinal pathogens that says it'd be a bad idea; but there isn't any particular reason to expect that WiFi would lag running water, sewage systems, or a power grid that stays up more than it goes down...

      Good civil engineering is Not Cheap. It is also Not Fast and tends to require longish periods of comparatively competent, not-too-shortsightedly-exploitative governance. It also need't be terribly high tech(though it can be), so areas that have enjoyed reasonable wealth and s
    • Re:Worldwide??? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Trepidity (597) <delirium-slashdot@@@hackish...org> on Saturday April 07, 2012 @04:10PM (#39608797)

      The international energy agency estimates [iea.org] that 80.5% of households worldwide have electricity. I don't think half of those having Wifi is completely implausible.

  • by SIR_Taco (467460) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @03:56PM (#39608703) Homepage

    But there are people that are allergic to WiFi signals!
    Almost half the households in the world having WiFi will cause all these people to leave populated areas and seek refuge in remote areas!

    Nothing but good could come of this :)

    • by symbolset (646467) * on Saturday April 07, 2012 @04:28PM (#39608927) Journal
      There are magnetic shielding bracelets that protect you from toxic wifi signals.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      There was this extremely funny article about such "sensitive" people complaining about a new cell phone tower that was causing them problems. There was only one problem, the antenna wasn't actually hooked up yet and wasn't broadcasting any signals, yet people reported having problems the moment the antenna came up anyway. As far as I know none of these people have actually managed to detect in studies whether they're kept in a room that's shielded or flooded with EM waves, it's just a mental reaction to thi

    • by jools33 (252092)

      You joke of course - but here in Sweden [electrosensitivity.org] they take this very seriously. I worked as a consultant on a project for a few days - and every time we walked past one of the offices we were supposed to ensure that our mobile phones were switched off. They had stripped the office of all possible forms of source signal. It was quite ridiculous. The fact that the same person lived in a city of approximately 1.5 million people - of which a very large percentage use mobile phones most of the time meant that unless th

  • Wireless is so overrated. A million more random issues, including but not limited to every other electronic device giving out interference. I have randomly been unable to access shares over wireless networks, randomly been unable to connect, lost connection whenever the wireless phone rang or someone used the microwave. it is not worth the hassle.
    Also it is significantly slower to transferring files (the new N is slower then gigabit and the old common stuff is way slower then the old 100 cable).

    • Wired is overrated. Too much hardware to maintain too many bad plugs, wires all over, fixed locations, etc. The speed isn't used, nor the bandwidth.

      My AppleTV is wired. That's it. I only have a 20 MB/sec plan so N is fast enough for 2-3 devices at a time and doesn't saturate with a single device pulling torrents down.

      Also anecdotally I've rarely had the issues you mention. Quickly remedied with a channel change or power cycle.

      On the bonus side my printer is in a room on its own, no PC hanging off and no net

  • Ad Hoc Mesh Networks (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Phoenix666 (184391) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @04:03PM (#39608751)
    If wifi does hit this density, does it make ad-hoc mesh networks a reasonable alternative using a protocol like B.A.T.M.A.N. [wikipedia.org]? The throughput would be nowhere near the fat pipes of big fiber, and the latency would be killer, but it would be extremely difficult for the government to shutdown.
    • by Kjella (173770)

      Not to mention effectively being limited to your town or city, extremely few areas have so dense population you have an unbroken wifi connection to neighboring cities. If they do, those few houses would become an immense choke point. I'd much rather go with a virtual network on top of my regular Internet connection.

      • by IANAAC (692242)

        Not to mention effectively being limited to your town or city, extremely few areas have so dense population you have an unbroken wifi connection to neighboring cities. If they do, those few houses would become an immense choke point. I'd much rather go with a virtual network on top of my regular Internet connection.

        I've got a wireless virtual network on top of my neighbor's wireless. There's a row of about 10 cabins here. My neighbor gets the wired internet connection and serves me an IP address with his bog-standard Netgear router. I have an Alfa Network high-powered Wifi interface that I use to pull in the signal. I serve IP addresses through a GSky high powered Wifi interface to cabins further up from me. It doesn't take anything more than those two interfaces on a lowly netbook with a couple free USB ports and Ubu

        • by Jeremi (14640)

          I've got a wireless virtual network on top of my neighbor's wireless. [...] I serve IP addresses through a GSky high powered Wifi interface to cabins further up from me.

          Cool.... is your neighbor aware of all this? ;^)

          • by IANAAC (692242)

            Cool.... is your neighbor aware of all this? ;^)

            Absolutely. It's a rural area. People tend to talk to each other around these parts :-)

      • "I'd much rather go with a virtual network on top of my regular Internet connection."

        If you're doing the activist thing, you'd be better off with both - plus a shared-store CAN as well. Each serves their own niche in the least-regulateable manner.
      • I would agree, but more car models are coming out with built-in wifi. Along some roads the traffic is so constant to permit ad-hoc mesh networks across the country. That does allow for other possibilities like real real-time traffic monitoring or crash/stoppage reporting, but that's not material to this discussion. What is is that citizens will shortly, if not now, have the ability to talk to each other regularly via a means that the government cannot shut down by simply flipping a switch. That is not o

  • by FudRucker (866063) on Saturday April 07, 2012 @04:03PM (#39608755)
    left with the default password on their wifi routers and allowing wifi admin access making them great fun for wardrivers
    • Don't most routers try to convince you to choose a new password when you first set it up now?
    • by jamstar7 (694492)
      Fire up that bittorrent, scam that pr0n from the net, kiddiezz, them thar routers are OPEN!!!
    • by timeOday (582209)
      So?
    • by houghi (78078)

      I see that this is not the case in Belgium. The majority of people have their connections set up by their provider.

      That provider configures the router. On the plus side, they configure it so others can use the router as well. On the minus side, only people who have an account at that provider will be able to use it as roaming and (free-)WiFi access.

      Since they started doing this, the number of open networks is seriously reduced. Where a few years ago it was extremely easy to do wardriving, this is now a seri

  • some technology to inter connect those routers/networks for free internet. Then the corporation can rape the existing Internet to their hearts content.

    • I've thought about that, and there's one problem I can't get around.

      Most traffic on the internet goes to a few big places. For example, this post will go to Slashdot. So around Slashdot, there is going to need to be some huge wireless pipes. And maybe Slashdot can afford that, but the next-door neighbors of slashdot won't be able to. Ultimately you are going to need some kind of backbone to handle high traffic loads. You can't do it all over 802.11n.

      If someone thinks of a way around this problem, plea
      • I would set up a meshed cacheing network as well. Most people visit the same sites over and over. Have a dynamic cache that propagates to where it is most requested and updates as efficiently as possible. Most content is old by the time you see it anyways.

        This solves both congestion and latency issues.

        • That's a cool start, but what about dynamic content? Think how much bandwith the dynamic content on a site like facebook would take.
      • Content-addressible networking. It couldn't completly solve the problem, as it is useless on dynamic content, but it's reduce the load imposed by images, videos and any other unchanging resource to a tiny fraction of what it is today.
  • As it's the easiest form of networking, and as all/most portable devices and computers use it, it couldn't be more than a sure bet. I'd like to see these research/forecasting companies lodge a sum of money with an independent trust and if the forecast fails then the cash is donated to charity!

  • And yet, this year... I went back to all wired ethernet.

    Rather than try to figure out which household was causing
    my packet drops and then think up what to say to them to
    cause it to stop, I went back to tried and true copper.

    No more stuttering streaming and dropouts... plus I can
    move files at gigaspeed.

    -AI

  • The more Wifi we put into houses the most pollution we add to the 2.4GHz band, by 2016 will it even be possible to add any more devices into it?
  • I will stick with regular cables for non-portable devices like desktops. I hate having unstable connections, interferences, etc.

  • and only 1% with something other than the default password?

The bogosity meter just pegged.

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