WLAN Sales to Soar, Study Says

Wireless local area networks (WLANs) have grown faster than expected even in a difficult economy, according to a report released Tuesday by Cahners In-Stat Group.

Overall, the WLAN market will grow from 3.3 million units shipped in 2000 to 23.6 million units expected to ship in 2005, the report says. From the point of view of WLAN vendors, however, there’s also some bad news.

That bad news is in the form of lower prices, particularly for 802.11b products. As a result, vendor revenues won’t grow at the same rate as unit sales, the report notes.

Strong sales by industry leaders, most notably Agere and Cisco, into vertical markets have helped keep overall WLAN sales strong, the study notes. The study specifically noted strong sales in the education, retail, financial and healthcare markets. Overall, Agere and Cisco accounted for about 15 percent of unit shipments and are the market leaders, the report notes.

In the near future, according to the study, early release of 802.11a products, which provide faster throughput than currently-popular WLAN products, will pace sales throughout 2002.

The findings are part of the report: “Life, Liberty and WLANs: Wireless Networking Brings Freedom to the Enterprise.”

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