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WiFi market: Mesh sales near 5% of total, says Dell'Oro

by Guy J Kewney | posted on 23 December 2006


Three surprises in the wireless mesh market emerged - rather late! - from a survey by network research specialist Dell'Oro group which came out back in November. The biggest is no doubt the estimate of market share for mesh.

Wireless mesh nodes "are on track to generate revenues of over $90 million this year," said Elmer Choy, Analyst of Wireless LAN Research.

That compares with an estimated two billion dollars worth of fast-growing Soho WLAN sales, said Choy: "the bulk of the revenue increase coming from the small office, home office market, which for the first time, surpassed $500 million in quarterly revenues."

The next surprise is that the market leader in the mesh business, which Choy believes is Tropos, has under a quarter of the total.  Tropos, as the report highlights, has been doing very well in the "hot-zone market" where metro authorities set up public access WiFi. Mesh networks are widely used for this.

The third surprise is the delay. The report appears to have languished unnoticed in the Dell'Oro web pages until this week, when a bored weekend worker at ZDNet decided to blog it.

The press release (below) gives no details of the progress made in this market by the supplier from whom much has been expected: Motorola. It also fails to mention the "DIY" contender, LocustWorld, but presumably the report includes more detail. Dell'Oro was unable to provide a comment in time for publication.

Redwood City, Calif. – November 16, 2006 – A recently published report from Dell'Oro Group, the trusted source for market information about the networking and telecommunications industries, reveals that shipments of wireless mesh nodes used predominantly to develop metropolitan Wi-Fi networks are on track to generate revenues of over $90 million this year.

“In the third quarter, Tropos led the wireless mesh node market with 23 percent,” said Elmer Choy, Analyst of Wireless LAN Research at Dell’Oro Group. “Deployments in North America are starting to accelerate as some vendors concentrate their efforts on smaller cities, where the local governments can move more quickly than large metropolitan bureaucracies, and where there may be less competition from incumbent Internet service providers,” added Choy.

The report also shows strong double-digit growth in the total wireless LAN market with the bulk of the revenue increase coming from the SOHO (small office, home office) market, which for the first time, surpassed $500 million in quarterly revenues. Most SOHO wireless LAN vendors make devices that combine wireless routers with broadband modems, but Siemens and Thomson benefited the most this quarter, as they sell these products to service providers. Service providers are increasingly supplying these devices to broadband subscribers for their home networks.

About the Report

The Dell’Oro Group Quarterly Wireless LAN report offers complete, in-depth coverage of the Wireless LAN service provider, enterprise, SOHO, and client devices markets with tables containing manufacturers' revenue, average selling prices, and unit shipments by the following wireless standards: 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11a/g and 802.11n. To purchase this report, please contact Karen Yang, call +1.650.622.9400 x222 or email Karen at DellOro.com.

About Dell’Oro Group

As the trusted source for market information about the networking and telecommunications industries, Dell’Oro Group provides in-depth, objective research and analysis that enables component manufacturers, equipment vendors, and investment firms to make fact-based, strategic decisions. For more information, contact Dell’Oro Group at +1.650.622.9400 or visit www.DellOro.com.



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