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802.11n Wi-Fi market to flourish, says ABI

Posted: 03 Jul 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:802.11n market? Wi-Fi access point? Wi-Fi Alliance?

Shipments of consumer-oriented 802.11n Wi-Fi access points will from 6 million this year to 88 million in 2013, reported ABI Research.

This rapid growth won't reach full velocity from a standing start, however. According to ABI Research VP Stan Schatt, "802.11n will become the default Wi-Fi technology of choice as equipment vendors include it in their new products. The real market growth will kick in when sufficient numbers of consumers have 802.11n capabilities embedded in their new laptop and desktop computers. We anticipate the greatest adoption to take place in the 2009-2010 timeframe."

A similar pattern is expected in the enterprise: the rate at which companies replace their laptops. "You can achieve 802.11n connectivity with adapter cards," says Schatt, "but most IT managers don't like them because they can get lost or damaged." Most enterprises work to a roughly three-year laptop replacement cycle, but Schatt believes, that cycle may be slightly longer in the current economic climate.

Successful vendors to the enterprise will be those with well-established channels selling to the early-adopting vertical sectors of education, healthcare, retail and manufacturing.

"While some larger organizations remain initially wary because 'n' is still a draft with ratification of the final standard expected next year, companies with workgroups that need 802.11n's extra speed, range, and robustness may push ahead in a piecemeal fashion." Schatt suggested. By the end of 2013, the enterprise component of 802.11n equipment sales will represent about 16 percent of the total market.

Schatt also reports that many vendors seem pleasantly surprised by the speed of enterprise adoption that is taking place, which he attributes to the reassurance provided by the Wi-Fi Alliance's interoperability testing certification.





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