WLAN market grows in fourth quarter

WLAN market grows in fourth quarter

The worldwide wireless LAN (WLAN) market flourished in the fourth quarter of 2002, continuing the growth it demonstrated in the past several quarters, according to a quarterly report by Infonetics Research's wireless LAN hardware group in Bromley, England.

However, lead analyst, Richard Webb said growth had not been as explosive as expected. Concerns about security and network control were key issues holding back adoption in the enterprise.

Consumers still made up the bulk of WLAN adopters in Q4 at 50 per cent, down three per cent from Q3 results. The enterprise and service provider share is expected to increase as penetration increases. The fourth quarter figures came in at 41 per cent and 9 per cent respectively, compared with 39 per cent and eight per cent respectively, in the preceding quarter.

With North America leading the way, WLAN hardware revenue totalled $US455 million in the fourth quarter - up from $US436 million in Q. This brought the year's total revenue to $US1.68 billion.

Infonetics predicted this market would increase over the next three years and $US2.72 billion in 2006.

North America holds the number one spot in WLAN revenue with 58 per cent. That number should remain steady throughout 2003, Infonetics said. Europe was second with 22 per cent, followed by Asia/Pacific (17 per cent) and the rest of the world (3 per cent).

When it came to WLAN hardware revenue market share, Cisco Systems and Linksys Group led the way followed by Buffalo Technology, NETGEAR and D-Link Systems.

In the hardware section, access points made up 61 per cent of WLAN hardware revenue in Q4, followed by network interface cards (NICs) at 39 per cent.

Infonetics said this proportion would remain stable through the fourth quarter of 2003, but the proportion of access point hardware would increase by 2006.

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