Industrial market tunes into wireless

Industrial protocols expected to see 50% CAGR

The worldwide market for industrial infrastructure wireless networking products exceeded $299 million in 2007, says a supply-side analysis report from VDC Research. Despite current economic conditions, VDC’s annual Infrastructure Networking Global Market Intelligence Service, reports this market is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4% through 2012, reaching $928 million.

According to Jim Taylor, director at VDC Research, wireless has overcome many of the initial concerns regarding security, and the perception now is that it offers ease of implementation and lower maintenance and installation costs.

The majority of shipments are in products with wireless Ethernet (IEEE 802.11) connectivity. Among these, IEEE 802.11g is currently the most popular. Proprietary protocols (operating primarily in the 2.4 Ghz and 800/900 Mhz bands) account for the second largest share of shipments. In 2007, proprietary networks accounted for 37% of the worldwide wireless networking infrastructure market. Although a shift toward use of standard networks is expected, shipments with proprietary networks are expected to account for more than 29% of the market in 2012.

Worldwide shipments of wireless infrastructure products by types of network connectivity ($ millions)

2007 2012 CAGR
Wireless Ethernet 168.0 543.9 26.5%
Proprietary 111.2 273.7 19.7%
IEEE 802.15.4, ISA 100.11a, Wireless HART, ZigBee (Industrial) 9.9 76.2 50.4%
Bluetooth 5.4 15.1 22.8%
Other standards 4.9 19.3 31.5%
Total 299.4 928.2 25.4%
Note: Product types include wireless access points, antennas, bridges, device servers, gateways, modems, multiplexers, repeaters, routers, switches, and transceivers used in industrial infrastructure networks. Source: VDC Research.
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