WLAN market continues to prosper

Falling component costs combined with increasing reliability are driving the wireless local area network (WLAN) market. According to figures from In-Stat/MDR, Wi-Fi hardware shipments rose 65% in 2002 reaching 11.6 million units.

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By  Zoe Moleshead Published  February 17, 2003

Falling component costs combined with increasing reliability are driving the wireless local area network (WLAN) market. According to figures from In-Stat/MDR, Wi-Fi hardware shipments rose 65% in 2002 reaching 11.6 million units. Additionally, home shipments increased by 160% to 6.8 million units.

Despite, these healthy shipments figures, cheaper component costs mean that revenues only grew by 23%, increasing from US$1.8 billion in 2001 to US$2.2 billion in 2002.

“In 2002, security continued to be the most talked about issue on the business side, while the Achilles heel of the home market remained multimedia support,” says Gemma Paulo, senior analyst, In-stat/MDR.

“In the year ahead, the continued growth and evolution of dual mode 2.4/5 GHz capable equipment, Intel’s ability to push out its Centrino mobile technology, the shift towards 802.11g as the preferred 2.4 GHz WLAN technology, and the advent of new enterprise infrastructure technology, will all shape the development of this market,” she adds.

In-Stat/MDR’s research also revealed that WLANs are starting to filter into smaller enterprises and remote offices. However, the market is still driven by verticals purchasing high end business solutions.

The number of 802.11b network interface cards (NICs) embedded into laptops also increased from 2% in 2001 to 14% in 2002, which in turn played a part in boosting the uptake of WLANs.

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