Home Networks Will Increase Threefold in Five Years

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As larger quantities of consumer electronics continue to get cheaper, technologies continue to improve and income levels rise around the world (particularly in developing markets), home networks could increase by as much as 200 percent, according to a new study released last week by IDC. The report forecasts the number of worldwide households with a network to grow from 37 million in 2003 to nearly 111 million in 2008.

The IDC study, the Worldwide Home Networking Forecast and Analysis, 2003-2008, takes a look at the current state of the home networking market around the world, lays out the road map for the broader home networking vision, highlights key questions involved in the home networking market’s evolution and offers unit forecasts for home networking equipment, divided along the lines of technology type and geographic region.


Although broadband connection among personal computers and sharing files and printers has been—and will continue to be—the main engine behind the growth of home networking adoption, networking is fast becoming a common characteristic of other consumer electronics devices, like stereos, telephones and cable and satellite television, increasing the value of the content stored on or played by these devices, as well as the platforms themselves.


Conclusions from the study note that just as the Internet brought new and more applications for personal computing, so too has home networking been driven by function. By connecting and integrating various devices, arrangement and control of these products can be streamlined and simplified. IDC expert Jonathan Gaw went as far as suggesting that in only a short time, home networks might become so prevalent that those who have these systems might not even identify with the label “home-network household,” because it simply will be a matter of course to install them.


At present, there is only one home technology certification, CompTIA’s HTI+, but if IDC’s predictions turn out to be anywhere near the mark, you can be sure there will be plenty more to come.


For more information, see http://www.idc.com.

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