Networking survey, just under 27 percent of solution providers polled expect gear and services based on the 802.11n wireless draft to generate the fastest growth in sales this year, compared to only 10 percent indicating that legacy wireless networking gear based on the older 802.11 a/b/g standards will fuel sales growth.
Along the same lines, just more than 20 percent of solution providers said products and services around 802.11n will be the most profitable for VARs this year, while fewer than 8 percent said legacy wireless gear will turn a strong profit.
Alan Bryant, director of business development for Teltech Communications LLC, an Edwards, Colo.-based solution provider and a Proxim Wireless partner, said wireless business has been brisk and is expected to continue climbing this year. He said 802.11n is playing a role in that success.
"802.11n, there's definitely a play there," Bryant said. "Everything is taking off for us."
Despite the perspective that 802.11n will soon become a catalyst for revenue growth, survey respondents said only about 4 percent of their customers have already deployed the latest wireless standard and just shy of 10 percent plan to deploy it sometime this year. Respondents did, however, note that less than 35 percent of the routers and switches they sell have wireless capabilities integrated.
Solution providers queried also agreed that wireless networking technologies will be a major growth point in the networking market over the next 12 to 18 months. Roughly 52 percent of solution providers said wireless technologies will drive growth, putting wireless as the second-highest behind VoIP, which came in at 55 percent. Regardless, 19 percent of VARs said wireless will be hit hard by the networking market slowdown in the next year to 18 months.
Regardless of what the numbers show, Bryant said Teltech's wireless practice is thriving in 2008, and for the rest of the year his big push, along with 11n, will be on in-building deployments.
The survey results show a similar trend, with roughly 66 percent of respondents indicating that customers' expanding infrastructures and businesses are the top drivers for WLAN deployments. Other key drivers include new technologies and innovations; the need to lower cost and boost network efficiency; and the need to enable customers' new business ventures.
As for vendors that deliver the best wireless gear, the results of the survey ran the gamut. San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco Systems Inc. took the top ranking, with more than 40 percent, followed by Cisco's Irvine, Calif.-based Linksys division, which took just more than 18 percent. Other notable vendors in the wireless space were NetGear Inc., Santa Clara, Calif.; Motorola Inc., Schaumberg, Ill.; Aruba Networks Inc., Sunnyvale, Calif.; and D-Link Corp., Fountain Valley, Calif.