Combining the benefits of increased speeds and reduced prices, wireless LAN is becoming one of the hottest topics in the computer-networking scene. According to recent research, the worldwide wireless LAN market is expected to grow from USD 1,032 million in 1999 to USD 2,630 million in 2003. Desired market penetration rates have slowed down due to disputes among vendors on issues of interoperability for various brands.

To give you an insight to the market potential of wireless LAN in Malaysia,iMonitorTM conducted more than 40 telephone and face-to-face interviews with leading market players, current users of wireless LAN products and non-users of wireless LAN products.

This in-depth study also provides valuable regional perspective that will help you to build an understanding of wireless technology progress in Asia.

Highlights Of This Study

  • iMonitor spoke to various players to find what they thought about the future of wireless LAN technology
  • What are the legal implications for wireless LAN players?
  • What is the future market potential - from a player's perspective?
  • What are the key market drivers and trends of wireless LAN technology?
  • Who are the global players with strong local presence?
  • Profiles of global players in the local market
  • Who are the new entrants and who are planning to roll out wireless LAN in the near future?
  • What makes certain technology standards more favorable?
  • Exactly to what extent have Malaysian companies adopted wireless LAN
  • The challenges of wireless LAN in Malaysia
  • Find out the best channels to market wireless LAN
  • Power users by industry

Table Of Contents

Executive Summary
Definition Of Wireless LAN
Industry Driving Forces
Key Market Drivers
Wireless LAN Challenges
Demand Analysys
Users Survey
Non-Users Survey
Supply Analysys
Key Industrial Players
DSSS Or FHSS-The Players' Perspective
Regional Overview: Asian
Regional Opportunity And Threats
The Five Forces Industrial Analysis
Transition Of Wireless LAN Business In Malaysia
Business Strategies
Appendix: Abbreviations

List Of Tables

Table 1: Types Of Wireless LAN Technology
Table 2: Wireless LAN Product By Players

List Of Figures

FIGURE 1: Typical Wireless LAN Implementation
FIGURE 2: Key Market Drivers In Malaysia
FIGURE 3: Number Of Foreign Vs Local Companies
FIGURE 4: Respondents By Business Category
FIGURE 5: Brands Used By Respondents
FIGURE 6: The Length Of Wireless LAN Usage Period
FIGURE 7: Satisfaction Level On Wireless LAN Products
FIGURE 8: Percentage Of Wireless LAN Deployment Vs Wired LAN Deployment
FIGURE 9: Main Reasons For Delopying wireless LAN
FIGURE 10: Primary Sources Of Information Wireless LAN
FIGURE 11: Respondents By Business Category
FIGURE 12: Respondents Wireless LAN Usage Intention In The Next 12 Months
FIGURE 13: Reasons For Not Deploying Wireless LAN
FIGURE 14: Wireless LAN Players (Existing And New Entrants)
FIGURE 15: Players Domination In Wireless LAN Market
FIGURE 16: Wireless LAN End-Users


Wireless LAN Challenges

  • Security
    wireless LAN using radio frequencies will inevitably face the same security problems that wired LAN faces. Most potential users still perceive wired LAN as a more secured solution.
  • Interoperability
    The incompatibility of different wireless LAN's radio frequencies has resulted in end-users being unable to mix and match different brands of wireless LAN equipment. This is one of the reasons for wireless LAN's poor market penetration rate in the ASEAN region. The products also need to comply with WFI guidelines (wireless LAN Interoperability Forum).
  • Attaining Desired Market Shares
    The MNC, higher education institutions, warehousing, retail and manufacturing sectors are in the target group of all the early adopters of wireless LAN in the market.
  • Product Capabilities
    Performance factors of different wireless LAN products such as speed and ease of integration will become a threat to the players if they do not constantly keep up with the market's need.

Users Survey

Significant Advantages Of Wireless LAN

  • Users' need for mobility is fulfilled
  • Logistically simple setup
  • Updated corporate image: especially useful for companies in the service sector (to project an image of technology and paperless culture)
  • Improved productivity resulting from a worker's mobility

Other Advantages Of Wireless LAN

  • Sufficient training by vendors
  • Higher bandwidth
  • Saves office space

Key Industrial Players

Nine key players and several new entrants (brands) have been identified in Malaysia at the time of this research (see Figure 14). Most of them are global players with strong local presence in Malaysia. They include: Cisco, 3Com, Siemens, Proxim and Lucent. Other players such as Identics, Grand-Flo Electronics and Micro Village are companies who carry global brands. Identics is an authorized distributor for Symbol's wireless LAN product. Grand-Flo Electronics carries Intermech's wireless LAN and Micro Village carries Breezecom's wireless LAN solution.

Some of the brands mentioned earlier are well known to the Malaysian IT Industry for their business focus such as Cisco's Routers and Lucent's cabling. However, as far as wireless LAN is concerned, these brands are still relatively new to the Malaysian market. Research indicates that most players have just commenced introducing their wireless LAN products over the year 2000.

Regional Opportunity And Threats

As China continues with its open-market economy, more international vendors will seek to venture into the country's telecommunications industry. Market players such as Cisco, Huawei, 3Com and Lucent Technologies are the major wireless LAN players in China. The importance of trade with China increasingly depends on the development in electronic commerce and the compatibility of China's Internet policies with global Internet policies, which may either accelerate or slow down such developments.

In China's IT environment, regulations are less consistent when compared to Western environments where regulations are based on certain basic principles in line with a country's political and economic outlook.

Singapore is one of the newly industrialized countries in the Asia Pacific region with a high level of technological deployment. It is discovered that the National University of Singapore (NUS) is adopting a wireless LAN that runs up to at least 8 Mbps data rates.

Key Market Drivers

Identified several key factors that will serve as driving forces in increasing
the wireless LAN penetration rate in Malaysia over time.

Figure 2: Key Market Drivers In Malaysia

Key Market Drivers in Malaysia.gif
Source: © 2001 iMonitorTM All Rights Reserved

Figure 9: Main Reasons For Deploying Wireless LAN

Bar Chart.gif
Source: © 2001 iMonitorTM All Rights Reserved

Primary Sources Of Information

What are the primary sources of information?

Knowing how and where users get their information about wireless LAN is
important to current market players.

Figure 10: Primary Information Sources For Wireless LAN
Bar Chart.gif
Source: © 2001 iMonitorTM All Rights Reserved

Figure 12: Respondents Wireless LAN Usage Intention In The Next 12 Months
Pie Chart.gif
Source: © 2001 iMonitorTM All Rights Reserved

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

Christine Ngh
Researchlink Sdn Bhd
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