Wireless LAN Market Grows By Double Digits In 2006


Sales of enterprise WLAN solutions were spurred by the growth of centralized WLAN solutions, Aaron Vance, senior analyst at Synergy Research Group, said in a statement. Centrally managed WLAN deployments accounted for 45 percent of the enterprise market, up from 30 percent in 2005.

Sales of 802.11g devices, the introduction of products based on the draft of the upcoming 802.11n high-speed wireless standard and new multimedia products helped spark growth in the SOHO/home market, according to Vance.

Solution providers said the desire for mobility is the top driver of WLAN sales today.

"It's about convenience. You don't have to go scrambling for a cable," said Jeff Goldberg, president of Washington Computer Services, a New York-based solution provider that represents a variety of networking vendors.

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Cisco Systems led the market for worldwide WLAN equipment sales in 2006, growing 35 percent year over year. Symbol Technologies, now owned by Motorola, followed at No. 2, showing a sales dip of 21 percent.

The fastest-growing vendor for the segment was Aruba, whose sales grew 62 percent to claim the No. 3 spot. 3Com followed in fourth with a sales decline of 37 percent, while Hewlett-Packard's ProCurve Networking by HP division finished fifth after boosting sales by 47 percent.

Meanwhile, the top five worldwide SOHO/home WLAN vendors all saw year-over-year sales growth in 2006. Cisco's Linksys subsidiary held the top spot, boosting sales by 6 percent. D-Link came in at No. 2, with sales growth of 11 percent, and was followed by Netgear (sales up 41 percent), Buffalo Technologies (sales up 7 percent) and Belkin (sales up 30 percent).

Synergy pointed to Aruba, Belkin, Cisco, Netgear and ProCurve as vendors that made notable market-share gains for the year.