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Wireless LAN equipment shipments hit triple-digit growth last year: Gartner

Worldwide wireless local-area network (LAN) equipment shipments experienced triple-digit growth in 2002, but revenu...


June 16, 2003  


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Worldwide wireless local-area network (LAN) equipment shipments experienced triple-digit growth in 2002, but revenue results did not show the same explosive growth rates, according to Gartner, Inc.

Shipments totaled 19.5 million units last year, a 120 per cent increase from 2001 shipments of 8.9 million units. However, end-user spending increased just 29 per cent in 2003 because of falling prices on equipment.

“As one of the few growth areas in network equipment, the wireless LAN market is attracting a large number of vendors,” said Andy Rolfe, principal analyst for Gartner’s worldwide telecommunications and networking group. “The resulting competition is forcing prices down, benefiting end-users by creating a wide choice of low-cost products.”

Buoyed by its strength in the wireless LAN adapter and wireless LAN broadband gateway segments, Linksys overtook Cisco Systems as the leading wireless equipment vendor in 2002, accounting for 14.1 percent of end-user spending. Cisco slipped to the No. 2 position with a 13.9 percent market share.

Linksys also led the worldwide wireless LAN industry based on unit shipments in 2002 with 14.6 per cent of the market. D-Link was the number two vendor with a 9.6 per cent market share, but the task for other vendors to attempt to take a leadership position in the market became much more difficult in 2003, the research firm said.

In March, Cisco announced an agreement to acquire Linksys, which will result in the company extending its lead in the market both on a revenue and shipment basis.

“In acquiring Linksys, Cisco is re-entering the high-growth consumer and SOHO network markets,” Rolfe said. “We expect Cisco to expand the Linksys distribution channel to include telecom service providers that want home networking products to bundle with their broadband offerings.”


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