Sage Research finds 80% of WLAN enterprise users plan to expand their deployment during the first six months of 2004

January 13, 2004

2 Min Read

NATICK, Mass. -- Sage Research, Inc., a full-service market research firm, today published the findings of its new study, "WLAN Adoption Trends 2004." The report finds that 80% of the current WLAN users surveyed expect to expand their deployment of wireless LANs in the first six months of 2004. The biggest reason for these expansion plans is employee productivity improvements. This increased usage also indicates that companies plan to expand WLAN access beyond the typical early-adopters, such as IT departments and "road warrior" workers (such as field divisions and sales personnel). They are also making these expansion plans in spite of wireless security concerns. "WLAN Adoption Trends 2004" is available at the SageStore ( A free summary of the results is available at

"In today's economic climate, companies want assurance that any new IT investments will make money now," said Joshua Weiss, project manager at Sage Research. "Wireless LANs are fulfilling that requirement through productivity benefits, which have served not only to justify current WLAN expenditures, but to ensure that spending on this technology will expand throughout 2004."

In addition to the planned cross-departmental deployments, the findings of "WLAN Adoption Trends 2004" strongly suggest that WLAN adoption has progressed beyond the phase of early adopters-those firms such as management consultancies and businesses with large traveling sales or field service organizations. Usage is now becoming more widespread in industries such as healthcare, retail, and manufacturing.

The average 2004 WLAN access point spending plans for those industries are still solid proof that companies are making serious commitments to WLANs:

  • Manufacturing (non-computer)-nearly $13,000

  • Retail-over $11,000

  • Healthcare-over $9,000

Security is the most common drawback mentioned by those surveyed. Despite these concerns, companies still plan to expand WLAN use, with most of them also planning to purchase improved security management controls.

Additional Findings from "WLAN Adoption Trends 2004"

  • Current WLAN penetration is low; 65% of WLAN users report that 10% or fewer of their employees use WLANs. However, almost 80% of those same companies plan to increase WLAN deployment over the next six months.

  • Nearly 70% of adopters are satisfied with their current WLAN infrastructure.

  • Users are only moderately satisfied with WLANs' speed, reliability, and ease of set-up, representing an opportunity for improvement by WLAN vendors.

  • Adopters plan to increase use of Wi-Fi "hot spots" in 2004.

Sage Research Inc.

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