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As the wireless home networking space evolves to one which involves the wireless connection of the PC cluster of devices (broadband modem, router/AP device, desktops, laptops, PDAs, web tablets) to the entertainment cluster of devices (audio and visual equipment such as TVs, DVD players, MP3 players, gaming devices and home theater devices such as high end displays and DVRs), Wi-fi technology will take the lead. High tech market research firm In-Stat/MDR projects that with 802.11b already being accepted into the home and 803.11a already beginning to penetrate early adopter homes, worldwide annual Wi-fi node shipments will be 33 million in 2006, up from approximately 6 million nodes expected to ship out in 2002.
"With Wi-fi AP gateway devices available for about $120, and with PC cards falling to the $50-70 range at retail and e-tail, as of 2H of 2002, end-users are readily accepting Wi-fi as an attractive method of wirelessly sharing broadband Internet access," says Gemma Paulo, a senior analyst with In-Stat/MDR. "The popularity of Wi-fi in the home has generated increased interest in extending this wireless home network to entertainment and home automation clusters, opening the door to Wireless Personal Area Network (WPAN) technologies such as Ultra-wideband (UWB) and Zigbee."
In-Stat/MDR also found that:
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