STOCKHOLM – The popularity of 802.11n is attracting more businesses to wireless LAN equipment and helping suppliers cope with the tough economic climate, industry analysts say.

Demand for enterprise WLAN equipment in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) grew by eight per cent during the third quarter over last year, said Evelien Wiggers, research manager for European Enterprise Communications Infrastructure at IDC.

802.11n has not yet been approved as a standard, but users are becoming more confident in the technology as vendors release more products, Wiggers said.

The news follows a report earlier this month that European organizations are spending more on wireless infrastructure than on wired networks.

Dell’Oro Group, another market research company, supports IDC’s view. In a recent report it said strong demand for 802.11n-based access points not only lifted enterprise WLAN sales in the third quarter, but also is helping increase the size of WLAN deployments.

The combination of twice the speed, twice the distance, but less than twice the price of legacy 802.11a and g equipment is an alluring proposition for enterprises, said Ben Kwan, a wireless LAN research analyst at Dell’Oro. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, after extensive testing, will start to roll out the technology in a couple of weeks, said Glenn Jone