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Enterprise Equipment: WLAN: Heating Up

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VoicenData Bureau
New Update

During the last financial year, WLAN was governed by the need for round the

clock connectivity for enterprises, irrespective of location. According to V&D

estimates, the WLAN equipment market stood at Rs 150 crore in FY '06-07 as

against Rs 104 crore in the previous fiscal

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Cisco's revenue registered a growth of 46.7% to touch Rs 66 crore, and it

retained its number one position. Cisco's major customers were Reliance

Communication, Idea, and Infosys. Maintaining and conforming to international

security standards were main reasons for Cisco's performance.

D-Link was unchallenged for its second position. It registered revenue of Rs

31 crore, and sold a total of 91,000 units as compared to 40,000 units in FY

'05-06. Their major customers were IIT Kanpur, IIT Rorkee, BHU, and Department

of Post (AP).

Netgear also retained the third position with an impressive growth of 88.9%,

and its revenue was Rs 17 crore.

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Dax registered a growth of 50% in its revenue. It introduced outdoor wireless

solutions that can deliver up to 45 kms at throughput levels of 20 Mbps and its

R&D was in a process of completing the latest 11n standards.

Growth Factors



One key factor that has lead to wireless adoption is growth of the
notebook PC and broadband in the small business sector. Small businesses look at

WLAN, because it does not restrict a businessman to a limited place, as it can

facilitate Internet on a mobile device. Mobility is another important driver for

the WLAN equipment market, and the flexibility to access and communicate through

the network in public places has resulted in greater adoption of WLAN. Falling

prices of notebook PCs, and broadband connectivity have provided further impetus

to the growth of wireless in the small business segment. Among the various

standards, the dual frequency 802.11g standard has contributed largely to

revenues in the WLAN market in 2005. There has also been growth in the number of

hot-spot zones across the country, especially in the metros. WLANs have gained

popularity in a number of verticals like hospitality industry, academia, and

public places.

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Hurdles



Wireless LANs are prone to security threats, with increased incidents
of unauthorized access, breaking of encryption, and loss of data integrity.

Except some of the leading players who have stressed a lot on security concerns,

other vendors have not been able to incorporate foolproof security based on

accepted security standards. As a result, security continues to be a major

hurdle.

The Top Players



(FY '06-07)

Rank

Companie

Revenues (in Rs crore)

Growth



(in %age)

FY '05-06

FY '06-07

1

Cisco

45

66

46.7

2

D-Link

26

31

19.2

3

Netgear

9

17

88.9

4

Dax

4

6

50.0

Others*

20

30

50.0

Total

104

150

44.2

*Others include: 3 Com, Brovis, Proxim, Multitech, and

Allied Telesyn

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Outlook



With small enterprises acknowledging the positive impact WLAN can
have on their business, this segment is predicted to grow significantly. Another

factor to watch out for is the government's rural connectivity targets, and

reduction in prices of mobile devices. Both will increase the subscriber base,

which will help this segment grow.

Sandeep Budki



sandeepb@cybermedia.co.in

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