At least 1 in 3 home routers will be used as public Wi-Fi hotspots by 2017, according to Juniper Research.
Installed base of dual-use home routers will reach 366 million in 2020.
The telecom research report said homespot routers create two wireless networks separated by a firewall: one network is for private use whilst the other is offered as a public Wi-Fi hotspot by the broadband operators.
Broadband operators such as BT, UPC and Virgin Media in Europe and several of the biggest cable TV operators in the US such as Comcast and Cablevision have adopted the homespot model as a low-cost way of rapidly expanding their domestic Wi-Fi coverage.
The expansion of Wi-Fi is giving rise to a number of Wi-Fi aggregators such as iPass, which leases its network on a wholesale basis to such as telecoms, cable operators and corporate customers.
“Given the current concerns around privacy and data security, the realization that home routers can be accessed by complete strangers is unlikely to be viewed in a positive light,” said research author Gareth Owen.