Metric: WiFi phone market continues to grow

The worldwide WiFi phone market jumped 76 percent between 2004 and 2005 to $102.5 million. It is projected to more than double in 2006 as enterprises steadily, if slowly, continue to deploy VoWLAN, according to Infonetics Research's latest report. Healthy VoWLAN growth is projected through 2009, when WiFi phone revenue will reach nearly $1.9 billion. VoWLAN is making its initial presence in the enterprise, but will eventually become popular with consumers too, and has potential for enormous growth as part of a VoIP service bundled with broadband connections.

Infonetics' Richard Webb says: "The enterprise telephony market is undergoing a transition from circuit-based to packet switching, because organizations have extensive data networks that can potentially be used for telephony, eliminating the need for separate voice and data networks.... Voice makes wireless LANs more desirable and mobility makes VoIP more valuable; it is natural that they are converging into a powerful enterprise mobile voice solution."

Other findings in the report:

  • WiFi phone units grew 112 percent between 2004 and 2005 and will grow 158 percent in 2006
  • About 2/3 of WiFi phone revenue came from single-mode WiFi VoIP handsets in 2005 and about a third from dual-mode handsets; by 2009, dual-mode handsets will make up 3/4 of total revenue
  • 52 percent of dual-mode WiFi/cellular handset revenue came from Asia Pacific in 2005, 25 percent from North America, 21 percent EMEA, 2 percent CALA
  • 802.11e QoS was standardized in late 2005, and will generate a new round of product releases and renewed promotion of real-time applications such as VoWLAN and video over WLANs

The report is titled "WiFi Phones Biannual Worldwide Market Share and Forecast."

For more on the report and its finding:
- see Infonetics' Web site

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