CA: Don't believe the wireless mega-hype

CA World: The money being poured into wireless technology may not reap the expected rewards, warns Computer Associates
Written by Patrick Gray, Contributor

There is too much hype surrounding wireless technology, according to Computer Associates' chief wireless strategist D.D. Ganguly.

The money venture capitalists are pumping into the technology will never reap the desired returns through explosive growth, he told ZDNet Australia during an interview at the annual CA World conference in Las Vegas.

"When you look at the actual numbers you realise -- it ain't going to happen," he said. "That sort of market capitalisation is unrealistic."

Comparing the level of hype in wireless today to that of the Internet boom, Ganguly says CA is trying to avoid falling into the same trap that cost companies a fortune in days past.

"We are not investing megabucks," he said. "We are not trying to come up with the next killer app... it does not exist."

The closest thing to a 'killer app' for wireless is voice and data, he said, with wireless technology merely equating to a delivery mechanism.

Hype caused investment in a lot of silly ideas in the boom time, the wireless expert said, like the company that got a big money cash injection because it convinced investors that selling breakfast cereal over the Web would become a big business.

"There are similar things happening today," he said.

However, just like the Internet, wireless technology has promise -- it's not all hype, it's just over-hyped, Ganguly said. He points out that there are early adopters like logistics giant FedEx, which recently moved away from a proprietary platform towards standard wireless devices. Much of the hype stems from the assumption the general population is going to take up the new technology quickly and ubiquitously, he says.

The future of wired networks is still safe though, the wireless expert says, as a compelling reason to ditch cabling hasn't yet surfaced.

"I don't see a driver in the market today that will allow an enterprise to completely let go of its wired network," he said.

In the meantime, Ganguly says CA's strategy will not be to spend a fortune on development, but take a more sober approach by asking customers what they'd actually like to see in the marketplace.

As yet, the company hasn't been swamped by demand.

"It's not something out customers are killing us for," he said.

Discover the latest developments in Wi-Fi, 3G, GPRS and other cutting-edge wireless technologies at ZDNet UK's Wireless News Section.

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