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WLAN Gear Shows Explosive Growth, Study Says

The first quarter of this year saw record worldwide shipments of wireless LAN equipment, with an increase of 20 percent compared to the previous quarter, according to a study released Monday by Infonetics Resarch.

Total worldwide revenues for WLAN equipment were $767.6 million for the quarter with 12.2 million units shipped, according to the study. The study predicted a two percent rise in revenues by the first quarter of next year.

WLAN switches were particularly hot, with the number of ports sold increasing 44 percent, the study found. Revenue for wireless switches grew 13 percent in the quarter to $52.2 million. The study predicts massive growth in this segement, with revenues expected to grow to just under $700 million by 2008.

Sales for wireless broadband routers increased 34 percent. It predicted this segment would grow quickly during the rest of the year as new technology, particularly equipment using multiple input-multiple output (MIMO) becomes more popular.

Cisco Systems continued as the leading WLAN vendor with a 17 percent overall market share, the study found. D-Link is now in second place, surpassing Linksys, which is owned by Cisco. Linksys is in third place and Netgear is in fourth, according to the study.