Report: Worldwide wireless market growing at 2.5% annually

Jan. 12, 2005 - Wireless LANs make up the smallest yet fastest-growing segment of the overall market, with worldwide sales projected to exceed $4 billion in 2009.

According to a soon-to-be-released report from Business Communications Company (www.bccresearch.com) entitled "Worldwide Wireless Infrastructure Expenditures," the worldwide wireless infrastructure expenditure is currently estimated at $177.5 billion. Expected to grow at an average annual rate of 2.5%, the market will reach $201.2 billion by 2009.

The report lists the revenue into four principal sections: WAN hardware (cellular, satellite, and cable-modem products), wireless LANs, end-user devices (PDAs, cell phones, notebook computers), and business software (enterprise resource planning, billing, and security products). The numbers included in these areas focus only on purchases made to support wireless connections, and therefore are subset categories of broader categories like PDA and wireless LAN sales.

Though it is by far the smallest of the four sections, wireless LANs is also the fastest-growing, with an average annual growth rate of 12.3% from 2004 through 2009. The researcher says wireless LANs are entering a rapid ramp-up phase, where technologies move from tools for technology-savvy individuals into the consumer market. It estimates the total worldwide wireless LAN market for 2004 at $2.31 billion, and projects that number to grow to $4.125 billion in 2009.

The two largest segments in the market are WAN hardware and end-user devices. WAN hardware will see an average annual growth rate of 1.8%, as carriers move to 3G technology and begin to deliver more video transmission. End-user devices account for more than half of the revenue generated, and represent an area of significant innovation. Its growth rate is 2.7%, a low number thanks mostly to price pressures found in consumer markets.

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