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The $6.8 billion in wireless communications upgrades and new deployments from the U.S. stimulus bill contains "potential goldmines," according to a report released Tuesday by ABI Research.
The market research firm predicts wireless equipment vendors will reap significant benefits from the stimulus bill, officially called the American Recovery and Reinvestment ACT (ARRA), and the benefits will flow out beyond infrastructure providers to aid specific vertical industries.
"The ARRA represents a windfall for wireless service providers as well as for satellite service providers," ABI VP Stan Schatt said in a statement. "It will have an enormous impact on Wi-Fi and wireless broadband vendors. It will also immediately benefit a number of specific vertical industries including healthcare, education, homeland security, the environment, and the nation's electricity infrastructure."
In health care, ABI predicts a mix of Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices, sensors, and communications systems will link health networks, while in education, providers will promote a brace of opportunities, including wireless LANs for "learning anywhere," voice over Wi-Fi, and other equipment and software to track "No Child Left Behind" record keeping.
"Many of the pending opportunities lie 'under the surface,' " said Schatt. "A civil engineering project which seems mainly about concrete and steel may actually benefit from a lot of wireless technology. And because vendors can't apply for funds themselves, they are -- and should be -- doing everything in their power to help their customers do so."
Pointing to the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Customs and Border Protection operations as "potential goldmines" for wireless providers, Schatt said those government units will use wireless products and services for a variety of functions, ranging from infrastructure and security gear to construction projects that often require wireless video surveillance systems.
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