WLAN market continues to grow in fourth quarter

The worldwide wireless LAN (WLAN) market flourished in the fourth quarter of 2002, continuing the growth it demonstrated in the past, according to a quarterly report by Infonetics Research Inc.’s Wireless LAN Hardware group in Bromley, U.K.

However, Richard Webb, lead analyst of the report, said in a statement that the growth has not been as explosive as expected, citing concerns about security and network control as key issues holding back adoption in the enterprise.

Consumers still comprised the bulk of WLAN adopters in Q4 2002 at 50 per cent, down three per cent from Q3 2002 results. The enterprise and service provider share is expected to increase as penetration increases. In Q4 2002 these were 41 per cent and nine per cent respectively, while in Q3 2002 they were 39 per cent and eight per cent respectively, according to the research firm.

With North America leading the way, WLAN hardware revenue totalled US$455 million in Q4 2002 – up from US$436 in Q3 2002 – bringing the year’s total revenue to US$1.68 billion. Infonetics predicts this market will increase over the next three years reaching US$2.72 billion in 2006.

North America holds the number one spot in WLAN revenue at 58 per cent, and that number should stay steady through 2003, according to Infonetics. Europe comes in second at 22 per cent, followed by Asia/Pacific at 17 per cent and the rest of the world at three per cent.

As for WLAN hardware revenue market share, Cisco Systems Inc. and Linksys Group Inc. lead the way followed by Buffalo Technology, NETGEAR Inc. and D-Link Systems Inc. in pursuit.

As for the hardware itself, access points made up 61 per cent of WLAN hardware revenue in Q4 2002, followed by network interface cards (NICs) at 39 per cent. Infonetics said this proportion will remain stable through the fourth quarter of 2003, but the proportion of access point hardware will increase through 2006.

For more information visit www.infonetics.com.