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Cisco May Soon Top WLAN Switch Market: Report

Competition for domination of the wireless local area network (LAN) switch market is heating up, according to Infonetics Research, as Cisco has closed the gap with leader Symbol Technologies.

Symbol claimed a 28% of market revenues in the third quarter of 2005, but through its acquisition of Airespace earlier this year, Cisco has improved its position to come within a hair's breadth of the market leader. Cisco's WLAN switch improvements are part of an overall dominance in the WLAN equipment market as a whole, where it can claim a 22% share of revenues, or $150 million last quarter.

According to Infonetics Analyst Richard Webb, Cisco's wide product focus gives it an edge over specialist vendors like Symbol. "Despite not having the wireless-only focus of some of its competitors, Cisco has the ability to integrate wireless, security, VPN, VoIP, routing, and switching, giving it significant advantages in the enterprise market as wireless LAN converges with other technologies," he said in a statement. "Cisco is whittling down Symbol's head-start in the WLAN switch segment and may soon claim the number-one spot."

The WLAN equipment market continued to show strong revenue growth last quarter, reaching $753.6 million worldwide, and Infonetics expects it to reach $4.2 billion in 2008. WLAN switch revenues alone grew 18% to $95.1 million, and will reach $746.5 million in 2008.