Optical/IP Networks

Report: WiFi Kit Market Grows 8%

It makes a pleasant change to be talking about a growth market these days, even if the current figures aren't going to make anyone stinking rich at the moment. According to market researchers at the Dell'Oro Group, sales of 802.11b and 802.11a equipment grew 8 percent in the second quarter of 2002.

Sales of all equipment, including "enterprise and SOHO-class access points/bridges, broadband gateways and network interface cards (NICs)," totaled $380.2 million in the latest three-month period.

Interestingly, average price cuts of 13 percent were noted in the enterprise access point sector. Dell'Oro says this sharp decline was to stimulate demand following a decline in that particular segment during the first quarter.

The Redwood City, Calif., firm also noted that Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) is leading the field -- no great surprise there. It sold $64 million worth of equipment, giving it nearly 17 percent of the fragmented total market.

But while Cisco increased its second-quarter sales by 16 percent, second-place Linksys Group Inc. failed to boost its revenues quarter-on-quarter, according to Dell'Oro's figures (see table below). Its total share of the market in the quarter was 13.3 percent, with sales totaling $50.5 million.

Third-place Buffalo Technology (USA) Inc. commands 11.4 percent of the market, with sales in the last quarter of $43.5 million, a 3 percent drop from the previous three months.

Table 1: Wireless LAN - 802.11 Total Market
Total Market 2Q02 Quarterly Growth
Manufacturer Revenues $380.2M 8%
Vendor Rank Growth
Cisco 1 16%
Linksys 2 0%
Buffalo 3 -3%
DLink 4 2%
Netgear 5 111%
(Includes Enterprise and SOHO-class Access Points/Bridges, Broadband Gateways, and NICs for 802.11b and 802.11a) Source: Dell'Oro Group

With more and more companies adopting a wireless approach to their in-house local area networks, and a slew of specialist providers and mobile operators planning and building public access hotspots using 802.11 equipment, this is a market set for further growth, though Dell'Oro has yet to announce its market growth predictions.

Another recent report, this time from In-Stat/MDR, puts the global WLAN public hotspot figure for the end of 2002 at 5,000, growing to about 41,000 by the end of 2006 (see In-Stat: Don't Miss WLAN Boat).

— Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung
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