802.11 Switches Stand Ground

The wireless LAN switch market is bucking the industry trend of plummeting 802.11 equipment prices and will continue to provide vendors with a price premium over standalone, enterprise-grade access points for at least the next year, according to the latest edition of Unstrung Insider.

The report -- “Enterprise Wireless LAN Price Report” -- claims that the street price for wireless LAN switch systems from vendors such as Aruba Wireless Networks, Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL), and Trapeze Networks Inc. ranges between $600 and $800 per access point deployed.

In contrast, the price for standalone access points has plummeted up to 25 percent in the last six months. “Enterprise-grade 802.11a/g access points now carry an average list price of $733, vs. $840 six months ago," notes report author Gabriel Brown. “Street price hovers around $400 to $450.”

Looking ahead, Brown expects the price of standalone access points to plummet further but argues the extra functionality and reduced management overhead associated with a wireless switch means such products will continue to demand a modest price premium.

“The wireless switch market has so far avoided the commodity pricing trap. This sector should be able to resist pressure to cut prices for at least the next twelve months.

“Switch vendors’ revenues per customer and per order are steadily increasing. Deals worth several hundreds of thousands of dollars will become more commonplace through 2005."

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

Enterprise Wireless LAN Price Report is available as part of an annual subscription (12 monthly issues) to Unstrung Insider, priced at $1,350. Individual reports are available for $900.

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