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New report examines WLAN products and price points

The research service firm Unstrung Insider has released a new report that compares the prices of enterprise wireles...


June 16, 2004  


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The research service firm Unstrung Insider has released a new report that compares the prices of enterprise wireless LAN products from 22 different vendors.

The report — Enterprise Wireless LAN Price Survey — includes detailed price data on 30 standalone access points, 19 appliance/gateway products, 40 wireless switch products, and 9 thin access points, from 22 different vendors.

“The data is vital to assess how enterprise vendors can avoid plunging headlong into the commodity trap that has devastated margins in the low-end consumer market,” says the report’s author Gabriel Brown.

“The successful suppliers will adopt a software licensing strategy, skew pricing to attract the bigger deals, and most importantly, invest in the sales channel. Ultimately, a dollar spent on successful marketing and channel development will be more effective than cutting a dollar off the price of the product.”

Findings from the research reveal that:

* The average cost of an enterprise-grade, standalone 802.11a/g access point is US$840, although this hides a wide range of prices;

* Standalone access points are already “commodity” items, with very little scope for pricing power or profit margins;

* Since the emergence of wireless switch products, appliance vendors have had to compete on price, instead of functionality; there is limited upside for this class of product, and

* Wireless switch vendors are bringing more sophisticated pricing models to the market, but they still face a tough job creating profit margin.

Corporate access point vendors analyzed in this report include Cisco Systems, Foundry Networks, Nortel, Hewlett-Packard and Symbol Technologies.

Further information is available at www.unstrung.com.