17.6 mln WLAN access points were sold on consumer market in 2004

The SOHO/consumer AP market will rise from approximately 17.6 mln units in 2004 to roughly 32.6 mln units in 2009, according to InStat. A major story in this market is a key transition from the 802.11g air standard to MIMO-based products. Eventually, while 802.11g will remain throughout the forecast period in very cost-optimized equipment, MIMO/802.11n will become the primary air standard; having a “universal” air standard is less confusing for consumers and easier to manage for vendors. Shipment volumes for MIMO-based equipment were small in 2004, but at least five vendors have now introduced products, with more expected in 2005. In contrast to the enterprise WLAN market, 802.11a/g equipment is not expected to gain traction in the SOHO/consumer WLAN market.