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Press Release

ASIA HOTSPOT DEPLOYMENT RATE DECLINES

London, 26 September 2005 - Recent research conducted by BroadGroup suggests a potential slow down is occurring in the deployment of wireless hotspots in Asia. The decline arises from the prevailing influence of North East Asia (China, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan) where 83.6% of all hotspots are located. Conversely, the rest of Asia has witnessed an increase of around 49% in the deployment of hotspots in the period January - June 2005. However this trend is not constant, and follows a period of insignificant growth during the whole of 2004. Overall, deployment growth across Asia fell back to around 19% during the first half of this year. This compares to a relatively robust increase of more than 32% in the second half of 2004. Higher growth countries in the 1H 2005 include the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Australia. In most cases however the figures started from a relatively low base. 8 out of the 15 countries surveyed each have less than 500 hotspots. It is important to recognise that half of all hotspots deployed in Asia, reside in South Korea. It is noticeable that very little further build has occurred in the country, which in turn exercises a profound influence on the overall results. South Korea has in fact achieved only 50% of its target subscriber base despite very cheap prices. 'Recent market reports suggesting that growth in hotspots is occurring in Asia misreads the true situation,' commented Philip Low of BroadGroup. 'The original targets set may have over-estimated the appeal of Wi-Fi, and customer segmentation has been too widely spread.' Combined with a convergence of prices across time based tariffs in a region renowned for low prices, and the emergence of WiMAX and 3G, service provider strategies for Wi-Fi are responding to the changing marketing environment. An integrated approach to wireless broadband for domestic users, and more focused segmentation of Wi-Fi services on inbound business travellers to the region may encourage a greater ROI. The next 6 months will certainly be a telling time for Wi-Fi in Asia. Wi-Fi Asia, published by BroadGroup (August 2005) For further details please click here.

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