WLAN Market Keeps Growing

Research firm Infonetics has reported a big jump in wireless LAN switch ports and revenue in the second quarter of 2005.

According to the company’s latest Wireless LAN Equipment report, worldwide wireless LAN switch ports jumped 52 percent to 170,000, and revenue grew 55 percent to $80.8 million between the first and second quarters of 2005. The company said it expects revenue in the wireless LAN market to exceed $735 million by 2008.

Though revenue in overall WLAN equipment sales dipped a little, 1 percent to $733 million, unit shipments increased 7 percent. Infonetics said it expects revenue to increase to $4.1 billion in 2008.

“Product innovation continues amongst wireless LAN switches,” said Richard Webb, directing analyst at Infonetics Research. “Some vendors proclaim the security or RF capabilities of their product, while others focus on VoIP/QoS support or network management tools. Customers now have a genuine choice of products and architectures, a sign of a maturing segment.”

Among vendors, Cisco led the pack in revenue share (as it did in a report from the beginning of the year, with its subsidiary Linksys placing second. D-Link and Netgear tied for fourth. Infonetics also reported that access points accounted for 67 percent of WLAN equipment revenue, NICs for 16 percent, and WLAN infrastructure products for 17 percent.

The report also indicated that SOHO and consumer sales have begun to slacken: Sales in that market were down from 51 percent in the first quarter to 43 percent in the second quarter.

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