RealTime IT News

Study Projects Rapid WLAN Growth

The wireless local area network (WLAN) industry will grow quickly because it will deployed in a wide variety of locations from the home to the enterprise and even in neighborhood cafes, according to a new study by Allied Business Intelligence.

That widespread deployment will result in growth for WLAN vendors increasing from $969 million last year to $4.5 billion in 2006, the study concludes. That translates into 55.9 million wireless nodes sold in 2006 compared to 4.9 million in 2000.

Home-based LANs will account for most of the growth, the study says. The growth in in-home WLANs will coincide with both increasing use of broadband connections and homes with multiple PCs, the study said.

"Wireless LAN connectivity has taken a quantum leap in providing users freedom from wired connections," said ABI Senior Analyst and report author Joshua Wise.

By far, the primary wireless standard will be 802.11b, although that will give way to 802.11a products, which will start shipping in volume in early 2002, the study notes. The 802.11b standard provides speeds as high as 54 Mbps and will represent 50 percent of all annual shipments by 2005, according to the study.