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WLAN market shriveled globally in Q4 2008

The wireless LAN market shriveled at the end of 2008, according to new, if sketchy, data released by Infonetics.

The Boston-based market researcher says worldwide WLAN equipment revenues dropped 11% in Q4 compared to the previous quarter. For the year, revenues fell 4% to $2.4 billion worldwide.

Two vendors who apparently saw revenue increases were Motorola and D-Link, though Infonetics didn’t provide specifics. The research firm says Motorola is very close behind second-place Aruba.

Cisco still dominates overall, with 52% of total global WLAN equipment revenues, or just over $1 billion. Infonetics didn’t indicate if that percentage has been trending up or down, however.

Despite the overall decline, revenues for WLAN controllers/switches and their associated “dependent access points” saw strong increases, quarter to quarter: controller revenue grew 32%, the dependent access points by 12% in Q4.

The revenue squeeze will continue through 2009, the report concludes. Infonetics projects very modest revenue growth from $2.4 billion in 2008 to roughly $2.6 billion in 2013. And that’s despite the reports assertion that “many enterprise buyers are looking at upgrading and expanding their wireless infrastructure,” in many cases to 802.11n.

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