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VoWLAN market gathers momentum

Running voice over wireless local area networks (VoWLANs) looks set to become increasingly popular during 2002, fuelled by vertical sectors such as retail, logistics, education and healthcare, which are investing in voice over 802.11x.

Running voice over wireless local area networks (VoWLANs) looks set to become increasingly popular during 2002, according to In-Stat/MDR. The market is being fuelled by vertical sectors such as retail, logistics, education and healthcare, which are investing in voice over 802.11x and other LAN telephony solutions.

Sales of wireless IP handsets are also gathering steam and the research group is expecting shipments to top 80,000 in 2002. This figure is expected to reach the 500,000 mark by 2006.

“Even though the market is projected to grow significantly, there is currently not much demand for wireless voice beyond the education, healthcare and retail markets,” says Brian Strachman, analyst, In-Stat/MDR. “VoWLAN vendors are banking on the fact that if the solution is easy and cheap enough to implement, it will eventually find its way into areas outside of the traditional three.”

Symbol and Spectralink have stolen the lead on other vendors when it comes to the voice over 802.11x handset market, but have partnered with PBX, wireless LAN, and LAN telephony vendors to push their products into the market.

“As the demand for voice over WLAN increases, more, and larger, vendors are expected to enter the market, bringing handset prices down, and pushing VoWLAN handsets out to the more mainstream business environments,” adds Gemma Paulo, analyst, In-Stat/MDR.

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