Taiwan's robust wireless LAN (WLAN) industry generated a revenue of about $385 mln in Q1 2004, up by 27.1% YTY, according to the Industrial Economics and Knowledge Center (IEKC) of the Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI). The sector accounted for 21.3% of Taiwan's total contribution of approximately $1.8 bln to the communication industry for that period. Q1 2004 WLAN production volumes hit 12.4 mln units, up 48.2% YTY. Most of these are network interface cards (NICs, 10.2 mln units), access points (APs) and bridges (1.3 mln units). Projections of this year place total shipments at 58 mln units compared to just 45 mln units for last year.
Thanks mainly to increasing demand for notebook PCs and PDAs with built-in WLAN, the market is expected to rise notably in Q2. The IEKC predicted that the emergence of voice over WLAN (VoWLAN) services would encourage more variations in WLAN products. Taiwan's mainstream WLAN products have shifted from 802.11b to 802.11g, which the IEKC said took up about 53% of all Q1 2004 shipments. Most companies expect 802.11g products to be mainstream in the next two years.