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David Williams
Global Director of Sales, Research
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WLAN Market Strategies: The Enterprise Challenge
Wireless voice over IP (VOIP), fixed/mobile convergence, and new multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) radio technologies have emerged as key drivers in the evolution of wireless local-area network (WLAN) infrastructure. This report examines the products and roadmaps of the leading WLAN equipment providers and analyzes strategies for integration with key business applications.

Two high-level vendor strategies are identified by the report. Among the larger vendors, the strategic focus is on tight integration with the vertical applications that drive the business case for enterprise WLAN deployment. Specialist vendors, meanwhile, are focused on WLAN as a horizontal technology applicable to any market or type of company. This group is focused on developing WLAN architectures that can be packaged and sold by a wide range of systems integrators, application vendors, and enterprise hardware suppliers.

Key issues explored by the report include:

WLAN equipment pricing, vendor market share, and revenue trends
WLAN architecture evolution and the move to distributed switching
The emergence and impact of MIMO and 802.11n access points
Unified switching and the integration of wired and wireless networks
Integration of WLAN with business applications, such as VOIP
Sample research data from the report is shown in the excerpts below:
Table of Contents (uni1106_toc.pdf)
With the emergence of high-bandwidth 802.11n access points, some vendors believe the prevailing centralized WLAN architectures will not scale. In response, equipment suppliers are developing systems that separate the data plane and control plane to provide more flexible, scaleable, and cost-effective wireless networks. The following diagram shows conceptually how distributed switching of data plane traffic could work.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
The following table summarizes if and when vendors in this market expect to integrate next-generation features into their system architectures.
[click on the image above for the full excerpt]
Companies analyzed in this report include: 3Com Corp. (Nasdaq: COMS); Aruba Wireless Networks Inc.; Bluesocket Inc.; Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO); Colubris Networks Inc.; Extricom Inc.; Foundry Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: FDRY); Meru Networks Inc.; NEC-Philips, a joint venture of NEC Corp. (Nasdaq: NIPNY; Tokyo: 6701) and Philips Electronics NV (NYSE: PHG; Amsterdam: PHIA); Nortel Networks (NYSE: NT; Toronto: NT); Siemens AG (NYSE: SI; Frankfurt: SIE); Symbol Technologies Inc. (NYSE: SBL); Trapeze Networks Inc.; and Xirrus Inc.
Total pages: 24
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