Home WLANs Catching Up to Office

The enterprise remains the largest market for wireless local area networks, but the home is catching up fast, according to a study released Monday by Forward Concepts.

The enterprise market for WLANs is currently twice that of the home, but the home market is growing faster and will pass the enterprise by 2005, according to the study. Surpassing both the home and the enterprise, however, are so-called “embedded” WLANs, the study claims.

These are WLAN capabilities built into a variety of devices such as handhelds, wireless phones and laptop computers. That market will start to grow quickly in 2002 and will surpass dedicated WLAN products in terms of sales by 2005. This capability will work with other technologies, most notably Bluetooth, but in some cases will displace Bluetooth, the study predicts.

Overall, sales of WLAN products will grow at an annual rate of 42 percent to reach $9.1 billion in sales by 2005, the study says. The study notes that 802.ll technologies will continue dominate the WLAN market.

The findings are part of the study: “Wireless LANs for Home, Enterprise & Beyond: An Analysis of System and Chip Markets.”

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