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802.11n Device Shipments See Sharp Growth Over Last Year

Market analysis firm In-Stat reported a huge growth spike in 802.11n device shipments, which grew by 85 percent from Q1 for 2009 to the same period this year. Its a good thing for the latest wireless LAN technology too, because otherwise, the global WLAN market fell by 9.4 percent quarter-over-quarter, though it grew by 4.8 percent year-over year. If that sounds confusing, then you can boil it all down to a general decline in WLAN shipments, except for 802.11n devices.

By comparison, the previous iteration of 802.11, the g series, saw shipments decline by 18 percent quarter-over-quarter and by 19 percent year-over-year. But of all the WLAN devices tracked, the single biggest instance of growth was in SOHO routers, shipments of which jumped to 92 percent from Q4 last year to Q1 2010.

Total WLAN revenue decreased 7.2 percent quarter-over-quarter to $1.1 billion in Q1 2010 versus Q4 2009, said Vahid Dejwakj, industry analyst, In-Stat. “Revenue for 802.11n products was nearly 40 percent of the total WLAN market in Q1 2010.”

Of the nearly 20 vendors In-Stat tracked, including HP ProCurve, Motorola, Cisco and Linksys, it found NETGEAR the leader in n devices shipped, moving more than 2 million such units in Q1, such as SOHO routers, residential gateways, network adapters and access points. D-Link was the winner in cross-the-board WLAN device shipments (regardless of specific technology) with 3.9 million devices over the same period, the strongest share gain year-over-year of any vendor.

The latest results closely mirror In-Stats previous findings in recent reports on Q4 2009 which found 802.11n clearly outpacing its g variant, with 76 percent growth from 2008 to 2009; during that period, 802.11g dropped 14 percent. And as with today, NETGEAR and D-Link were the market leaders in terms of WLAN devices shipped for the quarter, at 23 and 18 percent, respectively.

By contrast, another market research group, IDC, released a report last month that predicted the market will grow 23 percent year-to-year, jumping from $1.7 billion in 2009 to $2.1 billion this year. Overall, the rate of 802.11n deployments is accelerating this year, though IDC pegged that rate at 57.5 percent of all access points that support the technology.


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