Enterprise WLAN sales down 6% in Q1

Enterprise WLAN equipment sales declined for the second quarter in a row, according to the Dell'Oro market research group. Sales were down 6 percent in the first-quarter of 2005. A major reason for the decline has to do with changes among WLAN vendors as buyers wait for the dust to settle over mergers and acquisitions which may bring changes in product lines. The study cites Cisco's acquisition of Airespace in January, which in turn forced Airespace partners such as Nortel and Alcatel to look for alternative WLAN equipment suppliers, especially Trapeze and Aruba. The resulting turmoil and readjustments in product lines and suppliers persuaded purchasers to want to wait until the picture got clearer.

Dell'Oro also pointed to the 3 percent decline in growth in the SOHO WLAN market during the first quarter after strong fourth-quarter sales. This more moderate deline allowed the WLAN market as whole to contract by just 1 percent sequentially. A couple of months ago Dell'Oro said it expected the SOHO WLAN market to shift from standalone kits (that is, APs and adaptors) to products which incorporated WiFi, such as TVs and other consumer electronics equipment. This move will help push WLAN equipment sales up 13 percent this year to $2.6 billion with growth continuing through 2009, when sales will reach $4.3 billion, a compound annual growth rate of 13 percent.

For more on the Dell'Oro report:
- see TheRegister's report

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