ABI Research Inc. is forecasting a significant spike in demand for fixed wireless terminals and mobile broadband routers.


The Oyster Bay, N.Y. based market research firm predicts vendors will ship a total of 13 million of the devices, including industrial terminals, business gateway and phone adapters.


“A number of industrial applications are using a cellular or mobile broadband network as the (wide-area network) connection,” ABI principal analyst Jeff Orr said in an interview. “There’s definitely an interest in workforce automation so field workers can remain tuned in at all times.”


He added repair teams, service organizations, warehouses and transportation companies are using wireless devices to access enterprise software.


In a recent report, titled Fixed Wireless Terminals and Cellular Routers, ABI Research is advising carriers to “reconsider how pervasive Wi-Fi technology enables new subscribers and welcome multi-device users.”


Orr said some carriers are “very opposed” to supporting Wi-Fi on their networks.


“It’s found to be a competitor to their mobile broadband services,” he said.


ABI stated some wireless business gateways are “viable alternatives” to wired access, such as digital subscriber line.


The speeds, the performance of cellular has increased significantly in the last several years,” Orr said. “It may be a higher performing than certain (wired) broadband solutions.”