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WLAN market goes into overdrive

The wireless local area network (WLAN) equipment market is recording impressive growth, according to figures from research group IDC, revenues increased a staggering 80% in 2000 moving beyond the $1 billion mark.

The wireless local area network (WLAN) equipment market is going into overdrive, according to figures from research group IDC, revenues increased a staggering 80% in 2000 moving beyond the $1 billion mark. The market is predicted to treble in the next few years hitting $3.2 billion by 2005.

“Wireless LANs are being driven by the endless need for mobile connectivity both in and out of the enrerprise,” said Jason Smolek, research analyst for IDC’s enterprise network program. “Access points and bridges in airports, hotels, and convention centres are sprouting up all over the world from Stockholm to Singapore to New York.”

The research found that vertical industries, including education, retail and healthcare were spurring the growth. But IDC is expecting future growth in the WLAN market to be led by a move into the home and small-to-medium businesses (SMBs), as well as growth opportunities in Western Europe and Japan.

Proxim garnered 28% of 2000 shipments, but Symbol and Lucent are close competitors, while IDC found that Cisco holds strong in infrastructure segment, and 3Com is emerging as the player in the home and SMB markets.

"In the end, the mobile revolution will be limited only by the extent to which individuals are willing to have access. How vendors deliver and package that access will be key to adoption everywhere," Smolek added.

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