Report Finds "Staggering" Home Wi-Fi Growth

Sales of home Wi-Fi equipment surged 214% last year, according to a market study.
Wi-Fi in the home experienced "staggering" growth in 2003, according to a market study released Wednesday by In-Stat/MDR.

The research firm said that unit shipments of homebound network adapters and access points increased 214% last year. That translates into sales of 22.7 million units, according to the company.

Driving the growth was the release of products based on the new 802.11g standard, which drove down prices for 802.11b equipment, according to the study. The study predicted that 802.11g sales will overtake those of the older, slower 802.11b standard in 2004 as prices for the newer technology begin to fall.

Also critical in the rapid growth were laptops from vendors such as Dell, Hewlett-Packard, and Toshiba that came with built-in Wi-Fi.

The study also noted that there was a surge in sales and interest in wireless devices that connect PCs and home electronics such as stereo systems and televisions. The report predicted that a number of vendors will deliver 802.11g media adapters that focus on streaming media during 2004.

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