Netgear, a company which is set to benefit from the proposed roll out of a Coalition wireless broadband network in Australia, claims that demand for wireless broadband is slowing due to the technology reaching “a saturation point” with consumers.
“The average consumer is well aware of wireless broadband. They have been educated using a new generation of Smartphones, notebooks with 3G and devices like the new iPad. We are now seeing TVs receivers, and other home entertainment devices launched with a wireless capability built into them,” said Brad Little, Director of Consumer Channels at Netgear.
As a result of the fast uptake of wireless in Australia, Netgear is tipping that demand for wireless networking gear will slow during the next 12 months.
Despite this the company is still forecasting growth of between 6-8 per cent.
He claims that small medium business is the fastest growing market for wireless and that the market as a whole will benefit from faster wireless broadband speeds.
Little claims that the home broadband environment is changing. Among the products being adopted by Australians is Powerline technology which eliminates the need for Ethernet cables in a home.
“This is an extremely simple technology that is cost effective especially in new homes or in environments where it is either costly or difficult to run Ethernet cables” said Little.
Among the Powerline technology currently being sold by Netgear is a 200Mbs Powerline adapter which can be plugged into a home electrical system. Once connected a user can then plug in a device such as an IP enabled TV or Hi Fi receiver.
“Powerline is a new technology and by next year we will have a 500Mbs adapter that will allow fast broadband to be shifted around a home or office very quickly. Several retailers are now ramping up the sale of Powerline devices as sales of wireless routers slow. Consumers will benefit from this as there is a distinct benefit from this technology”.
Netgear has also launched a home theatre Internet connection kit that allows multiple devices such as broadband enabled Blu ray players, TVs and video recorders to be connected to the Internet via the electricity system.
Currently Netgear sell their technology via mass retailers like JB Hi Fi, Dick Smith, Harvey Norman and Office Works, they also OEM sell routers to both Telstra and Optus.
In the future they believe that carriers like Optus and Telstra will bundle wireless network gear as part of their high speed broadband offering.