Wireless Communications Sector Will Reap Huge Benefit from $6.8 Billion Stimulus Bill Funding

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA, also known simply as the Stimulus Bill) will provide funding for a massive $6.8 billion worth of wireless communications upgrades and new deployments over 2009-2010. The Act offers a significant one-off opportunity for wireless equipment vendors, an opportunity that is examined in depth by a new study from ABI Research.

“The ARRA represents a windfall for wireless service providers as well as for satellite service providers,” commented Stan Schatt, VP of ABI Research. “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 healthcare, the scope for adding wireless to the technology mix encompasses Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices and sensors, communications systems linking health networks, telepresence, wireless LAN equipment, and Wi-Fi-enabled video surveillance systems.

In education, already a leading adopter of Wi-Fi solutions, equipment vendors are developing template solutions in such areas as WLANs for “learning anywhere,” voice-over-Wi-Fi, and WLAN equipment and software to track students' progress for “No Child Left Behind” record keeping.

The Department of Homeland Security and US Customs and Border Protection are potential goldmines for wireless vendors because of the many agencies within them that will use ARRA funds for tactical communications equipment, infrastructure equipment, and security equipment. Even critical infrastructure construction projects such as bridges and tunnels often require wireless video surveillance systems.

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