According to a study released Tuesday by In-Stat/MDR, China's revenues from wireless local area network (WLAN) equipment will increase at a rate of 33% from 2004 to 2008.

In-Stat/MDR, a US high-tech market research firm, said China's revenues from WLAN will increase from about US$54 million in 2004 to almost US$160 million by 2008. In-Stat/MDR found that, although China Netcom deployed the first WLAN service in China in 2001, foreign equipment providers still hold the lion's share of the WLAN market in this region with a combined 70% share of overall revenues.

Adding to upward momentum for WLAN in the China marketplace are sharply decreasing costs for both WLAN equipment and notebook computers–a trend that will continue to lend attractiveness to WLAN usage, especially for high-end business users, In-Stat/MDR said.

With its enormous population, China as a market still exhibits very low penetration rates for palm and notebook computers, however, notebook computer sales are expected to increase by 30% this year and an increasing number of those will be shipped with WLAN capability. The research firm said that other factors driving growth for WLAN in the China marketplace include a continuation of strong economic growth, in the 7% annual range and government push for swift modernization.

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