Wi-Fi mesh networking faces slowing growth, says In-Stat

August 29, 2007 -- The rate of new deployments of municipal mesh networks will slow after 2008, due to concerns over the business model, contends the high-tech market research firm.

August 29, 2007 -- The Wi-Fi mesh networking equipment market had over 100% shipment growth in 2006, and will have over 90% growth in 2007, according to a report from In-Stat.

The high-tech market research firm says that strong growth will continue for Wi-Fi mesh access points (APs) for the next several years, as shipments grow more than three-fold between 2006 and 2011. However, the firm notes that most of that growth however will come between 2006 and 2008, with growth rates rapidly declining starting in 2009.

"Cities will continue to deploy municipal mesh networks, but the rate of new deployments after 2008 will slow, due to concerns over the business model," contends Daryl Schoolar, In-Stat analyst. "Growth in the enterprise-large business market, plus the need to replace previously deployed nodes, will help offset the slowdown in shipments to new municipal networks."

The report, "2007 Worldwide Wi-Fi Mesh Equipment Market," also states that manufacturer revenues in the segment will grow through 2011, but not as fast as shipments, due to expected cost-per-node declines.

The firm notes that supporting government applications are needed for successful municipal network deployments, as consumer access in most cases is not enough to sustain such networks by itself. The firm also contends that WiMAX and cellular will both negatively impact the market, as these services "go after the same nomadic users that public Wi-Fi networks target."

The research is part of In-Stat's Wireless Broadband Evolution service. The research covers the worldwide market for Wi-Fi mesh networking and equipment, and includes a five-year forecast and market share information for AP shipments and revenues. The report also provides analysis of technology and market changes and profiles of major vendors.

The report is priced at $3495.

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