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Thu 23 Jun 2005 04:00 AM

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Wi-Fi revolution linked to broadband

Infonetics Research predicts revenue will rise another 2% to US$779.6 million by 2006 and hit US$3.6 billion by 2008, as wireless LAN products continue to gain traction across most product categories.

The volume of Wi-Fi equipment sold worldwide has hit an all time high, according to Infonetics Research. The firm puts the rise down to booming broadband use. 12.2 million units were shipped, according to Infonetics Research’s quarterly market share service, Wireless LAN Equipment, while worldwide wireless LAN equipment revenue rose 20% to US$767.6 million between 4Q04 and 1Q05.

The firm predicts that revenue will rise another 2% to US$779.6 million by 1Q06, and hit US$3.6 billion by 2008, as wireless LAN products continue to gain traction across most product categories and all regions. Looking specifically at wireless LAN switch ports, 1Q05 saw a 44% year on year rise to 112,000 units; while revenue grew 13% to US$52.2 million.

This figure is expected to jump to US$699.2 million by 2008. However, it is not all-good news for wireless vendors, as fierce competition has driven down the average selling price. Infonetics reports the global broadband boom continues to generate more demand for wireless broadband routers, which saw a 34% increase in revenue between 4Q04 and 1Q05, topping US$328 million and a 37% increase in unit shipments to reach 6 million in 1Q05. In 2005, Infonetics predicts new product features such as MIMO, extended range capabilities and VoIP functionality will generate replacement purchasing, further fuelling the wireless broadband router market.

"The demand for wireless broadband routers continues unabated, driven by the possibilities of wireless home networking,” says Richard Webb, lead analyst at Infonetics Research. “As more and more users explore the possibilities of media download and file sharing applications they are finding that this easy-to-use device uncovers the true potential of their broadband connection global broadband wave,” he adds.

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