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Issue #2003 - 10 (March 2003)
(Updated Mar. 26, 2003)


Voice Over WLAN

Not surprisingly, the Voice over Wireless LAN (VoWLAN) market is very small presently. According to In-Stat/MDR, less than 30,000 Voice over 802.11b handsets were shipped in 2002. Still, In-Stat thinks there's growth potential, with end-user revenue rising from approximately 16.5 million in 2002 to 507 million in 2007. 

"This market will thrive for two reasons," says Gemma Paulo, a Senior Analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "Wi-Fi Wireless LANs have a growing installed base, so these customers are looking to add voice to their existing wireless networks. In addition, the LAN telephony market is growing, and In-Stat/MDR expects a percentage of this business to be wireless IP handsets. As demand from verticals such as education, healthcare, retail and logistics increases, then VoWLAN installations will enjoy healthy growth." 
In-Stat/MDR also found that:

  • Perhaps the most exciting part of the VoWLAN market is the "new" market that is forming, apart from traditional Wi- Fi handsets, specifically for onsite use by an employee. Softphones from TeleSym and Vedic enable pocket PCs on a Wi-Fi network to function as phones. Vocera, with its badge device, has created a relatively inexpensive way of allowing for handsfree and quick communication between mobile workers, such as nurses.
  • In the handset VoWLAN market, top verticals remain healthcare, education and retail, namely those same verticals that have been driving large-scale enterprise WLAN roll-outs over the last few years. SpectraLink and Symbol dominate this VoWLAN handset market, and it is widely anticipated that Cisco is developing its own handset. 
  • A combination Wi-Fi, and 2.5 or 3G, mobile phone is the ultimate vision for the business environment, where this mobile phone seamlessly switches between cellular and 802.11, even in the middle of a call. Motorola, Proxim and Avaya announced a partnership, in January 2003, to develop the handsets and necessary infrastructure required to it happen.

For more information: http://www.instat.com

MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: Voice over WLAN market will remain a niche vertical-industry based market for some time. Mass market will come into its own only when carriers accept Wi-Fi as an integral part of their networks. The carriers will continue to scream before they accept Wi-Fi as core components of their networks.

 Note: This news release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and section 21E of Securities Exchange act of 1934 in USA. Similar provisions exist in other countries. There is no assurance that the stipulated plans of vendors will be implemented. MobileInfo does not warrant the authenticity of the information. Readers should take appropriate caution in developing plans utilizing these products, services and technology architectures.  All trademarks used in this summary are the property of their respective owners.

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