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Cisco Strengthens Enterprise WLAN Lead, Study Says

Cisco Systems became a stronger presence in the enterprise WLAN market in the first quarter of 2004, according to a study released Wednesday by Dell'Oro Group.

Specifically, the study found that sales of enterprise-class access points grew about 33 percent during the quarter compared to the last quarter of 2004. Cisco's sales in that category of product increased 55 percent in the quarter while access point sales by Symbol, which is ranked second in the category, decreased by 16 percent. Sales by third-place Proxim decreased 18 percent in the quarter, according to Dell'Oro Group.

The sales increase likely comes from the fact that many customers were transitioning their older 802.11b Cisco equipment to access points that support 802.11g. While the standard was ratified more than a year ago, Cisco didn't release equipment that supported 802.11g until late last year.

"The market continues to transition away from 802.11b to 802.11g," Greg Collins, senior director of Dell'Oro Group said in a statement. He noted that 802.11g shipments now are responsible for about 60 percent of all WLAN equipment sales.

While sales of enterprise-grade access points increased, network interface card (NIC) sales decreased because, the study explained, laptops increasingly are coming with built-in wireless NICs.

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