"Hopes that the roll-out of wireless broadband networks - so-called wi-fi hotspots - will result in a profits bonanza will be dashed, the technology consultancy Forrester has warned.
"With all the hype today about the rollout of... public hotspots, it's as if the dot.com boom and bust never happened", said technology analyst Lars Godell.
Wi-fi equipment is selling fast - but will it stay at home or go on the road?
Currently there are about 1,000 public hotspots available throughout Europe. Installed in airports, companies, cafes or hotel lobbies, they allow users of laptops and handheld computers to surf the internet or send and receive data at broadband speeds - provided they have the right wireless equipment.
Rival technology consultants IDC recently predicted that by 2007 this market will have grown to 32,500 locations generating revenues of $1.4bn (£800m).
But Forrester argues that the Wi-fi market is facing natural limits. Wi-fi is for computer users on the move, but only 10% of Europeans currently own a laptop, and numbers are expected to rise only slowly.
At the same time, hotspot coverage will be very patchy for years to come."