October 14, 2008

Nearly One Million Small and Medium Businesses Are Candidates for Early 802.11n Adoption, According to ABI Research

Retail, real estate, warehousing and transportation are among the SMB market segments that could prove fertile ground for adoption of 802.11n equipment, assuming vendors can find the right channels to reach them.

"Small businesses tend to buy from retailers, office equipment stores, and select value-added resellers," says ABI Research vice president Stan Schatt. "Small businesses tend to buy small numbers of devices and trade them in more frequently than large companies. They also tend to be far less knowledgeable about technology and standards than large companies with dedicated IT personnel. The result is that small businesses are likely to buy 802.11n products while they are in draft status and deploy them immediately."

Many of those businesses will have employed Wi-Fi already, so what - apart from its greater speed and throughput - will prompt them to upgrade to "n"? One trigger is related to PC replacement cycles: increasingly, when computers are updated, the new models will include 802.11n as a standard built-in feature.

Several characteristics specific to the retail, real estate, warehouses and transportation vertical markets make them especially likely to benefit from 802.11n's new abilities. Warehouse operators have had problems with interference using conventional 802.11g. 802.11n's MIMO technology should reduce interference and make it possible to use Wi-Fi-based RTLS software.

Retail SMB establishments could benefit from the greater coverage offered by 802.11n; and real estate, increasingly using Wi-Fi to transmit graphic images of homes, will very likely add video applications as soon as they become practical. Deploying 802.11n will provide enough bandwidth to handle these tasks.

These businesses will be "low-hanging fruit" for those vendors, distributors and retail channels that specialize in serving the SMB segment.

ABI Research's study, "IEEE 802.11n Update, Forecast, and Vendor Evaluation" (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/market_research/ IEEE_802.11n_Update_Forecast_and_Vendor_Evaluation) analyzes vendors' differentiated value propositions and market positioning, and provides a detailed vendor matrix that identifies winners in several major product categories including, best channel, best value proposition, best innovation, best product implementation, and overall winner. (Due to its length, this URL may need to be copied/pasted into your Internet browser's address field. Remove the extra space if one exists.)

It forms part of the firm's Wi-Fi Research Service (http://www.abiresearch.com/products/service/Wi-Fi_Research_Service), which also includes other Research Reports, Research Briefs, Market Data, ABI Insights, ABI Vendor Matrices, and analyst inquiry support.

ABI Research is a leading market research firm focused on the impact of emerging technologies on global consumer and business markets. Utilizing a unique blend of market intelligence, primary research, and expert assessment from its worldwide team of industry analysts, ABI Research assists hundreds of clients each year with their strategic growth initiatives. For information, visit www.abiresearch.com, or call +1.516.624.2500.