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Demand for WLAN drives rising sales

Sales of enterprise infrastructure equipment in Western Europe climbed 14% in the first half of 2006 over the second half of last year, according to research firm IDC.

Demand for centralised wireless local area network (WLAN) architecture was particularly strong, with revenues shooting up 48% over the first half of this year, although revenue for decentralised architecture products fell 16%.

Cisco continued to lead the enterprise market, followed by 3Com.

ZyHEL moved from fifth place to third with a revenue share of 13%, IDC noted.

“The enterprise market is growing, and demand for centralised equipment is increasing. Most of the enterprise deployments are still not fully developed, in many areas and especially the ‘carpeted office’ WiFi is only provided in centralised areas such as meeting rooms or common areas. Vertical markets such as healthcare and education have much further developed networks,” said Evelien Wiggers, senior research analyst in IDC’s Telecommunications and Networking group.

“While data was the main application for enterprise WiFi networks, interest for voice applications is the main driver now to implement WiFi in the enterprise market.”

The overall Western European WLAN equipment market reached a value of US$1.2 billion end-user revenue in the first half of 2006, IDC reported.

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