BBH Report Home Page
October 20, 2003 Provided by System Dynamics Inc.

Your Voice -- Readers' Comments

Bluetooth

When we visited the UK last month, we found about the same amount of Bluetooth equipment as Wi-Fi on computer store shelves. This is very different from the States, where there's almost no Bluetooth and lots more Wi-Fi choices and brands.

Russell Haggar wrote from the UK: "Bluetooth was always going to be a winner, as it was guaranteed to get designed into European GSM handsets - its killer app was the wireless headset. Over the past 5 years, 802.11 and Bluetooth have diversified massively, using their core installed bases as a critical mass upon which to pin their new market and application areas: Bluetooth has found traction in the PC peripheral markets (wireless keyboards and printers) and in the PDA market (GSM handset has GPRS connectivity over the GSM network and Bluetooth connectivity to the PDA, thus acting as a wirefree data modem for the PDA). ... Almost every business user of GSM has a Bluetooth-capable handset, and a huge chunk of the domestic user base as well. Handset churn rates probably average about 12 months at present, so it hasn't taken long for Bluetooth to achieve this position. ...

Why is this different from the States? Probably a reflection on the relative maturity of the European 2G handset market compared to the US ... Other factors might include less FUD from the 802.11 camp in Europe, even though the two technologies are complementary rather than competitive. The relative cost probably has played a part - it costs less than $5 to build Bluetooth connectivity into anything, so its ubiquity will be achieved far sooner than 802.11."

ETSI broadband wired network standards

Paul Reid from ETSI in France wrote to let us know about a "newly-published brochure which summarizes work being done by the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) on broadband wired network standards. It also relates the work to the European Commission's eEurope initiative." The "News & brochures" section of the eEurope Standards site (http://www.eeurope-standards.org) has this brochure and others in the same series.