July 27, 2006 … and still more one-glance-graphics indicating the state of play in the telecommunications space. The worldwide WiFi phone market increased 116% between 2004 and 2005 to US$125.5 million, and is projected to more than double in 2006 as enterprises and consumers slowly but steadily continue deploying voice over wireless LANs, according to a new survey. The survey estimates that WiFi phone revenue will double, almost triple, every year through 2009, when it will reach US$3.7 billion. Initially an enterprise application, VoWLAN will eventually become more popular with consumers as well, having enormous growth potential as part of a VoIP service bundled with broadband connections.

"Single-mode WiFi VoIP handsets continue to penetrate the enterprise market, and with D-Link, Linksys, and NETGEAR all launching products, we expect increasing adoption in the consumer market, too," said Richard Webb, directing wireless analyst with Infonetics Research.

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"But the real growth will come from dual-mode WiFi/cellular handsets," Webb continued. "With the increased activity from both fixed and mobile operators to deliver dual-mode services to the mass market, often as part of a more far-reaching fixed-mobile convergence strategy, the long-term forecast for dual-mode WiFi/cellular handsets is strong, assuming these handsets come down in price to sub-100 dollars or euros."

Highlights of the report:

    SpectraLink leads the overall WiFi phone revenue market in 2005, followed by Cisco and Motorola Total WiFi phone units grew 151% between 2004 and 2005 and will grow 182% between 2005 and 2006 58% of WiFi phone revenue came from single-mode WiFi VoIP handsets in 2005, 42% from dual-mode handsets; by 2009, 91% of revenue will come from dual-mode handsets 49% of dual-mode WiFi/cellular handset revenue came from Asia Pacific, 27% from North America, 22% EMEA, 2% CALA in 2005, but this shifts dramatically by 2009, when much more revenue will be generated in EMEA
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