Frost & Sullivan says the adoption and strong support of wireless standard 802.11b, coupled with the consequent decline in costs, are the main engines behind growth in the European Wireless LAN market.
Comprising access points, notebook, desktop and PDA add-ons as well as gateway devices, the European WLAN market, with sales worth $260.75 million, is set to reach $976 million in 2006.
Aided by plummeting broadband service prices and further development of the home consumer market, the main thrust of this growth will be derived from gateway products. Frost & Sullivan expects 802.11b to retain its dominant role in the market, with a steady migration to 802.11g and 5GHz over the next few years.
However, a study from the market research organisation says that security remains a chief concern. Along with end-user confusion caused by multiple standards, the advent of next-generation standards and the prevalence of a changing and uncertain regulatory environment, are having an adverse effect on sales and provide a stumbling block for accelerated mainstream deployment.
Frost & Sullivan expects combined 2.4/5GHz solutions to enjoy the most buoyant growth during the forecast period. Already, silicon developers are working towards the introduction of integrated chips with the ability to provide connectivity to the two different spectra. Systems capable of interoperating with 802.11b, 802.11g and the 5GHz standard agreed for Europe would represent be the optimal product. However, in the medium to long term, Frost & Sullivan believe that the market will move to 5GHz technology.
Published in Embedded Systems (Europe) May 2002