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Next-gen WiFi Expected To Be in 99% of North American Campuses by 2013

Although the wireless standard 802.11n is found in less than 3 percent of North American universities currently, it will be available in 99 percent by 2013, according to a new study by ABI Research. According to the research firm, the increases are driven by a variety of needs and demands in both K-12 and higher education.

The IEEE standard is expected to be officially ratified in 2009, although vendors are already releasing compatible products based on early drafts of the specifications.

"ABI Research believes that wi-fi access point and controller equipment revenue in the global higher education market will skyrocket from $137 million in 2007 to $837 million in 2013," said Stan Schatt, vice president and research director.

North American schools have made most of the early running in WiFi adoption, but the rest of the world, led by Europe, is rapidly catching up. However, European adoption may be slowed slightly owing to parental and governmental concerns about potential health issues.

Motivations for deploying WiFi in schools and colleges vary widely. Greater security is in demand, especially video surveillance. K-12 schools are embracing an "anytime-anywhere learning" philosophy, and they are placing emphasis on providing networked computers to as many students as possible. Universities, clearly the leading early adopters, are finding that WiFi connectivity is a recruitment requirement for many students.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.

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