THE ENTERPRISE MARKET FROM WI-FI technology in China is expected to increase fourfold over the next three years, with a 45 percent annual growth rate for the market as a whole, according to a new white paper sponsored by the Wi-Fi Alliance. It is part of a wireless trend that is in genesis around the world.

Developed by Chinese research firm Analysys International, the report describes a new wave of Wi-Fi expansion in China, fueled by increased broadband penetration and less expensive Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, bringing the technology to homes, offices and public places.

The market for non-embedded Wi-Fi equipment, such as access points and external network cards, is expected to exceed 10 billion by 2008.

“China is already an important strategic market for our industry, and we believe it presents a very attractive growth opportunity in the coming years,” said Frank Hanzlik, Wi-Fi Alliance managing director. “The enterprise networking and voice application segments are particular areas of opportunity, and our Wi-Fi certified programs help ensure that Chinese Wi-Fi users have the very best experience with Wi-Fi devices as adoption becomes more widespread.”

“More Wi-Fi products will emerge in 2007, mobile office and mobile entertainment will continue to develop and Wi-Fi home user market development will speed up,” said Eagle Zhang, Analysys International’s vice president of research.

“With it’s affordability, versatility, and high-data rate, Wi-Fi will continue to be an important part of the larger wireless ecosystem in China,” said Hanzlik. “Chinese consumers are coming to demand seamless connectivity on devices ranging from laptops to home entertainment gear, and Wi-Fi has a major role in keeping all of those devices connected.”

In addition, greater China manufacturers are expected to produce 29 million voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) products in 2006, according to China Sourcing Report. Exports are estimated to hit 22.66 million units—an increase of 14 percent over 2005.

“Telephony solutions are expected to drive growth in the worldwide VoIP market,” said Mark Saunderson, report publisher. “Telephony product exports for 2006 are forecast to increase 52 percent year-on-year, revolving around the integration of wireless technologies, lead by Bluetooth and WLAN [wireless local area networks]. The convergence of voice and video applications is also expected to gain ground this year. Several companies in Taiwan already are including VoIP videophones in their product line-ups.”

The report also found that worldwide subscriptions for residential VoIP are expected to hit 197.2 million users by 2010, up from 4.8 million in 2004.   EC