Revenue from the public wireless local area network (WLAN) services market will grow to approximately US$1.6 billion by 2007, according to a new study released by the Yankee Group. The Boston-based technology research group also notes that business users will represent the vast majority of public WLAN users at 86% of the 4.6 million users. The Yankee Group also highlights the potential double-edged sword public WLAN systems based on Wi-Fi technology can be for the wireless carriers. It notes that Wi-Fi can represent both an opportunity and a threat to carriers. "For most service providers, PWLAN does not represent a viable stand-alone business. Carriers are well positioned for this space by providing both hotspot access and WAN/WLAN integrated services to their subscriber base. They can offset deployment costs by leveraging existing investments in the core network, billing systems, customer database and network management. WLAN is complementary to 2.5G and 3G WAN technologies when used for wireless data services in local hotspot areas. But WLAN is more about portability than mobility," the report’s author Roberta Wiggins said in a news release.