Wireless LANs Set to Boom, Frost & Sullivan Says

The market for wireless LANs is on the brink of a growth spurt, thanks to the creation of an interoperability standard, according to market researcher Frost & Sullivan. Vendor compliance with the IEEE 802.11 standard will help the wireless LAN market triple in revenues by 2003, according to the statement. Under that model, the wireless LAN market would be US$697 million by 2003, it said.

The market for wireless LANs is on the brink of a growth spurt, thanks to the creation of an interoperability standard, according to market researcher Frost & Sullivan.

Vendor compliance with the IEEE 802.11 standard will help the wireless LAN market triple in revenues by 2003, according to the statement. Under that model, the wireless LAN market would be US$697 million by 2003, it said.

The IEEE 802.11 standard is designed to allow any wireless LAN client or access point in the 2.4GHz band to interoperate with any other 802.11-compliant equipment operating on the same physical layer.

The wireless LAN market is already robust, topping $187 million in revenues in 1996, up 45 percent from the previous year, according to Frost & Sullivan's statement.

Retail, transportation and warehousing industries were among the first to use wireless LAN technologies, and while their demand has slowed, educational institutions and hospitals are quickly becoming sectors for growth opportunity, according to the statement.

As for the wireless LAN players, the top three companies -- Lucent Technologies Bell Labs Innovation, Proxim Inc. and Aironet Wireless Communications Inc. -- control 59 percent of the total market, the statement said. Second-tier companies that are gearing up to claim more market share include Digital Equipment Corp., Symbol Technologies Inc. and Windata Inc., it said.

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