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Wireless broadband looks set to be the most used medium for broadband in the future as industry analysts believe that fixed-line broadband is reaching its peak and is beginning to fall in popularity.

According to the latest Ipsos Insight research, by the end of last year 77 per cent of global users were accessing broadband through fixed line connections. Whereas 21 per cent were still on slow, narrowband dial-up connections.

Although researchers still see sizeable growth in the broadband market due to the exceptionally high number of dial-up users, this growth may soon be coming to an end. The report believes that the future is in wireless with WI-FI and WIMAX technology beginning to dominate worldwide.

15 per cent of the world connect to broadband through wireless means. Reasons include: a)       More people are using laptops and travelling more b)       Broadband and internet connections through mobile phones are becoming more commonplace c)       Some areas in the world access wireless purely because without cabling, this is the only choice they have. More and more users worldwide are using wireless satellite broadband – particularly in places like Australia’s red centre and across Africa.

Alongside the rise in wireless broadband, the use of fibre-optic cables is increasing too, and as already mentioned in this week’s Top 10 Broadband news the UK’s Broadband Stakeholder Group believe that urgent investment in fibre-optics and wireless is necessary for the UK in order for it to compete with the rest of the world when it comes to broadband speed and reliability.

Brian Cruickshank, the managing director of Ipsos Technology & Communications said “We’ll be monitoring this (developments) during 2007 and are optimistic about the impact wireless networks will have on the global Internet landscape, not only within underdeveloped and developing markets , but also within larger Internet economies where users are primed to make the leap to wireless access based on their growing affinity for wireless devices such as notebook PCs and mobile phones.”

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