Study: WLANs on "Incredible Journey"

By allNetDevices Staff

April 03, 2002

Fastest growth rate seen in the home

Wireless local area networks outperformed much of the technology sector in 2001 and are about to take off on an "incredible journey," according to a study released Wednesday by In-Stat/MDR.

The study found that more than eight million WLAN chipsets were sold in 2001, an increase of about 23 percent over the previous year. However, strong indications are that WLAN chipset sales are already increasing sharply this year and the study predicts sales of 14 million units, an increase of 75 percent over 2001.

"The incredible journey for WLAN chips is just beginning," said Allen Nogee, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "For many years, the use of WLANs has been limited to a very few specialized vertical applications. However, as new standards like 802.11a and 802.11g are introduced into both the home and the enterprise, the market will (gain) even greater momentum."

Currently, 802.11b accounts for the vast majority of WLAN chipset sales, but the study predicts rapid adoption of faster 802.11a and 802.11g technology in the enterprise. While current WLAN technology provides data speeds of 11 Mbps, the newer WLAN technologies offer speeds as high as 54 Mbps.

As other studies have indicated, the enterprise will be the largest market segment for WLAN chipsets but the home will show the fastest growth rate. That is because, besides standard networking uses, other Net devices with WLAN capabilities such as wireless video pads stand to gain in popularity in the coming years, the study said.

The study predicts growth, over time, of 802.11a in the home, with sales of 13 million chipsets for home applications projected to be sold in 2006.

The findings are part of the study: "WLAN Chipset Market -- The Incredible Journey Is Just Beginning."

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