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Increased Role for Wi-Fi in the Digital Home

Wi-Fi's existing large installed base in mobile PCs and home networks means that it is likely to be a primary connectivity solution for new consumer electronics (CE) devices, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

Attach rates for Wi-Fi among game consoles are already approaching 80 percent. In-Stat expects DTV to be another high volume driver, reaching nearly 21 million units shipped with Wi-Fi by 2012.

While growth rates and penetration of Wi-Fi in the living room is growing, Wi-Fi is still dominated by the huge volume of mobile Wi-Fi devices.

Beyond the already established notebook PC segment, Portable Media Players shipped with Wi-Fi will grow to well over 100 million units in 2011 and cellular/Wi-Fi handsets will pass 300 million units by 2012.

"Finalization of IEEE 802.11n will remedy some of the technical issues that constrained Wi-Fi adoption in video-centric CE devices," says Victoria Fodale, In-Stat analyst. "We expect the adoption of Wi-Fi in the living room to accelerate. However, mobile device shipments will still outnumber stationary CE devices by nearly ten to one."

In-Stat market study found the following:

- By 2012, shipments of CE devices with Wi-Fi are expected to reach more than 938 million.

- There were over 87 million wireless networks in the home in 2007.

- Residential gateways are expected to show the strongest growth among Wi-Fi home aggregator devices, which include SOHO/home routers, residential gateways, and standalone access points (APs).

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