VDC data supports contrarian view of wireless adoption

In a new report just released, industry analyst firm VDC says that while 802.11 usage will grow from $168 Million to $543.9 Million by 2012, and proprietary field networks will grow from $111.2 to $273.7 Million, standards based field networks like WirelessHART, Zigbee and ISA100.11a will only grow from $9.9 Million to $76.2 Million over the same time period.

Wireless VDC Chart

Here's VDC's press release to tell the rest of the story:

Wireless Ethernet Dominant in Rapidly-Growing Industrial Market for Wireless Networking Infrastructure Products

In recently released Supply-Side Analysis Reports, which are part of the firm’s annual Industrial Networking Global Market Intelligence Service, VDC Research finds the worldwide market for industrial infrastructure wireless networking products exceeded $US 299 million in 2007. Despite current economic conditions, VDC forecasts this market will increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25.4% through 2012, reaching $US 928 million. “There has clearly been a shift in the awareness of the benefits of wireless networking. Wireless has overcome many of the initial concerns regarding security and the perception is now that it offers ease of implementation, and lower maintenance and installation costs,” stated Jim Taylor, Director at VDC Research.

The majority of shipments are in products with wireless Ethernet (IEEE 802.11 standards) connectivity. Among these the IEEE 802.11g standard is currently the most popular. Proprietary protocols (operating principally 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 for the products under study. Although a shift toward use of standard networks is expected, shipments with proprietary networks are forecast to still account for over 29% of the market in 2012. This is still a significant share.  “Even though many suppliers suggest that security is an application concern not a technology concern, there is still a perceived notion that proprietary networks are more secure than standard types. This is a major reason users continue to implement proprietary networks,” explained Ladd Bodem, Practice Director at VDC Research.