Wireless LAN markets comes of age in 2000

9 May 2001 News

Worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) equipment revenue jumped an incredible 80% in 2000, breaking the $1 bn mark. By the time 2005 ends, the market will be well beyond this mark, approaching $3,2 bn.

An IDC bulletin recently released, 'Unwiring the network', states that demand has been particularly strong in vertical industries such as education, retail and health-care. In the coming years, IDC expects increasing use of WLANs in the home and small/medium-sized business (SMB) segments coupled with the growth of broadband. Non-US markets will also represent a growing opportunity, especially Western Europe and Japan, it says.

"Wireless LANs are being driven by the endlesls need for mobile connectivity both in and out of the enterprise," said Jason Smolek, Research Analyst for IDC's Enterprise networks program. "Access points and bridges in airports, hotels and convention centres are sprouting up all over the world from Stockholm to Singapore to New York."

Proxim is currently best positioned in the WLAN market. This vendor accounted for more than 28% of 2000 shipments. Symbol and Lucent are also well positioned, according to IDC, with Cisco strong in infrastructure. Additionally, 3Com has emerged as a force in the home and SMB markets.

Despite the optimistic outlook for the overall market, IDC believes WLAN vendors will have to overcome several obstacles, including resolving standardisation issues, educating their partners, improving slecurity and reducing prices so that WLANs are affordable for mainstream segments.

"In the end, the mobile revolution will be limited only by the extent to which individuals are willing to have access. How vendors deliver and package that access will be key to adoption everywhere," Smolek said.

For further information contact Bruce Atlas, [email protected]

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