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WLAN Will Eat Itself

Here's one that might make the wireless LAN startup community, and the VCs getting behind it, stop in their tracks. Frost & Sullivan reckons that, although unit shipments are going to "increase significantly" during the coming years, the market will be worth less in 2009 ($1,455.8 million) than it is in 2002 ($1,546.6 million). Darn, those figures are precise! "The slight decrease in revenues can be attributed to an expected decline in unit prices because of strong vendor competition," the research company states in its press release (see No Steep Curve For WiFi). Being an "industry that is built on standards" is a bit of a pain for the vendors, apparently. Its tough for them to ask a premium price when the products all do the same thing, according to Frost & Sullivan. Given the constant call for open standards that allow interoperability and a level playing field for competition, we hope such a dire revenue warning does not start a campaign for the promotion of proprietary technology and a dirty media campaign against the standards bodies. No matter how much fun that would be. — Ray Le Maistre, European Editor, Unstrung www.unstrung.com
docsisdude 12/4/2012 | 9:20:07 PM
re: WLAN Will Eat Itself was wondering when people would wake the hell up and realize that wlan chips will be quickly turning into a commodity. with a slow moving standard it will be perhaps 1 or 2 years max before we see low cost chips from south east asia competing with adn beating Atheros/Marvell/Broadcom etc, simply on price alone. Add to this that intel will eventually be able to supply their own afe and rf parts and these companies will soon have precious few places left to sell their wares.

kiss your margins goodbye!

the dude
dbeberman 12/4/2012 | 9:15:28 PM
re: WLAN Will Eat Itself The WLAN standards do promote a level playing field. However, the comment that therefore everything will become a commodity fails to take into account the ingenuity of the high-tech community. There are ways to create product differentiation that does not violate the interoperability goals of the WLAN standards, while maintaining proprietary advantages. Look for new products based both on current and developing standards as well as proprietary tech that will open up new markets for wireless LAN networking.
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