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Wi-Fi/Cellular Phones To Set Sail

Scottsdale, Ariz. — Most U.S. cellular carriers will eventually embrace converged Wi-Fi/cellular handsets that provide Wi-Fi-network VoIP service, because if they do not, other telecom carriers will, research company In-Stat said.

“Wi-Fi has spread so fast that carriers will not be able to resist much longer,” the company contended.

Factory-level shipments of converged handsets will hit 132 million worldwide in 2010, In-Stat forecast. More than 20 handsets are now, or soon will be, available with Wi-Fi, and most of them are scheduled for the United States, the company said.

A few cellular carriers will use VoIP to send voice over cellular and Wi-Fi networks. Consumers rather than enterprises are more likely to be more receptive to early adoption of Wi-Fi/cellular handsets, the company also said.