Report: Enterprise WLAN growth will drive adoption in public 'hot spots'

Dec. 13, 2001
December 13, 2001 Analyst says that the enterprise is the driver of all other segments in the WLAN market.

A new report concludes that the wireless local area network (WLAN) enterprise market is experiencing dramatic growth, led by the U.S. marketplace.

The new study by The Strategis Group, "Wireless LANs: Global Trends in the Workplace and Public Domain" includes an in-depth description and critical analysis of all major WLAN technologies, including 802.11 a, b, g, e and HiperLAN2.

In addition to increasing use of wireless network access in the enterprise, the number of public "hot spot" locations is expected to grow - including such areas as airports or college campuses, where a high density of users will create demand for wireless network access.

Several wireless and wireline operators, as well as wireline ISPs, are expected to sustain this trend by entering the WLAN market to offer new value-added services to existing customers, according to the report.

While WLANs never will be able to achieve the service range of cellular base stations, equipment and devices are being developed that will enable customers to seamlessly roam from cellular wide area networks to wireless local area networks.

"The enterprise market is driving demand for all other segments of the WLAN industry," says Christine Loredo, a senior analyst with The Strategis Group. "Those who are using WLANs in the office are the same users who will want to use them public hot spots while traveling as well as in the home. The benefits of WLANs are numerous, and users are very aware."

The Strategis Group has determined potential strengths and drawbacks of each technology and offers projections as to which will become the market-leading standard in particular regions of the world. The study also provides a critical discussion of issues facing the continued expansion of the enterprise WLAN market, challenges and opportunities facing the public hot spot market.

Factors that are driving market uptake by region, and forecasted equipment sales and revenues for enterprise use and subscriber forecasts, as well as service revenues for public hot spots, are included in the study. The Strategis Group projects annual WLAN service revenue will reach $1 billion by 2006.

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