Wireless LANs: Opportunities & Challenges in Home Entertainment, Voice, and Public Access

Wireless LAN Equipment Shipments to
 Triple Within Five Years


MIMO-OFDM Technology Will Enable Major Growth in  Home Entertainment, Voice, and Broadband Access

The market for wireless LAN gear will roughly double in value and triple in unit shipments by 2009—largely thanks to next-generation technology delivering higher throughput, longer range, and greater capacity. That is one of the conclusions of the new 83-page report, Wireless LANs: Opportunities & Challenges in Home Entertainment, Voice, and Public Access now available from Alexander Resources, a leading research, consulting and education firm specializing in wireless communications.

“The market for wireless LAN nodes is currently measured in tens of millions of units,” said Ira Brodsky, Senior Analyst and the report’s author. “But the wireless LAN market could increase dramatically as a result of home entertainment applications that could constitute hundreds of millions of units and wireless voice over IP and machine-to-machine applications, which could require more than one billion units each.” He cautioned, however, that a number of technology and business obstacles must be overcome to reach these levels.

Wireless LANs: Opportunities & Challenges in Home Entertainment, Voice, and Public Access is based on in-depth interviews with executives at more than three dozen manufacturers, service providers, application developers and major end-user organizations. The report identifies the challenges to growth in home multimedia, integrated cellular-Wi-Fi, public access and machine-to-machine applications; analyzes user interface, power consumption, latency, and other requirements; and describes the likely role of MIMO-OFDM technology. MIMO-OFDM exploits multipath propagation, an inherent feature of all wireless communications environments, delivering greater throughput, range, and reliability.

Additional conclusions found in Wireless LANs: Opportunities & Challenges in Home Entertainment, Voice, and Public Access:

  • Enterprise applications account for a small portion of wireless LAN sales. Security-conscious organizations will continue to proceed with caution. However, the popularity of notebook PCs is forcing all large enterprises to secure their endpoint devices.
  • The success of Wi-Fi hot spots has so far been disappointing. New business models and interoperation with cellular networks are cause for optimism, though. Wi-Fi will ultimately play the lead role providing robust and cost-effective indoor wireless services.

  • Improvements in battery performance, quality of service (QoS), range, and throughput are crucial to wireless LANs’ success in major new markets. The wireless LAN industry must encourage both technology innovation and standards development.


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