WiMAX in, WLAN out in Q206

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Infonetics Research has released a series of reports tracking the wireless LAN, radio access network, and WiMAX equipment markets. According to the reports, worldwide RAN equipment sales jumped 20% to US$8.9 billion between the first and second quarter of 2006 and WiMAX equipment sales shot up 107% to US$141 million. Wireless LAN equipment sales dropped 7% to US$654 million, however, although Infonetics expects growth to be steady through 2009, fueled by strong WLAN switch and controller sales.

“The mobility market is diversifying, with wireless mesh and WiMAX beginning to ramp up in addition to cellular and WiFi technologies, giving service providers more options when deploying wireless networks,” said Richard Webb, Infonetics Research analyst.

It looks like the next generation of wireless has yet to be decided, with strong growth numbers from WiMAX and RAN picking up the slack from WLAN’s drop. But Webb was quick to point out that no clear winner might mean that everybody wins.

“Over the coming few years, these technologies will become increasingly interoperable, helping to edge us closer to the dream of ubiquitous wireless broadband.”

For the rest of the highlights from Infonetics studies, go here.