WLAN: Trends And Analysis
by Aaron Vance
Posted 12/3/2003; Published 6/2003




There hasn’t been much positive momentum during the past two years in the networking industry, but one notable exception is the 802.11 Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) or Wi-Fi market. Our research shows that the overall WLAN market grew more than 200 percent from 2000 to 2002, and will continue to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 23 percent over the next five years.


Although most of this growth will continue to occur in the small office/home office (SOHO) and home market, the enterprise WLAN market is poised for substantial growth. Our optimism stems in part from the promise of new 802.11 technologies, notably the 802.11g standards due to be finalized midyear, but also from improved price/performance of WLAN systems and the growing availability of wireless LAN solutions that consolidate voice, data and mobility functions.


Another positive WLAN bellwether is Intel’s recent announcement of the Centrino Mobile Platform, which should stimulate the WLAN industry, especially the enterprise market. This platform includes built-in Wi-Fi technology and extra-long battery life support. As users of Centrino laptops, PDAs, Pocket PCs, phones and other mobile devices come to regard wireless access and mobility as ordinary functions, they will want these benefits at work and at home.


Roadblocks to widespread enterprise adoption of WLANs are also coming down as security issues are resolved, product lines are fleshed out and individuals get more familiar with the technology—especially at home. Even Cisco seems to have bought into the booming SOHO/home wireless market.


About the author:

Aaron Vance is an industry analyst with the Synergy Research Group specializing in enterprise and consumer WLAN markets and network security



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