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Wi-Fi to remain dominant as global market for networking devices hits 1bn

By 2014, global shipments of core home networking equipment and network-enabled media devices will exceed 1bn units, according to ABI Research.

Senior analyst Michael Inouye comments: “On the CE side, TVs, Blu-ray players, and set-top boxes are expected to lead in shipments. As pay-TV operators continue to push new services and features, such as multiscreen initiatives and whole home DVRs, connectivity will increasingly come to the forefront of the digital living room.”

Wi-Fi is expected to remain the most common technology used to connect these media devices (in most cases greater than 60%), although other wired networking technologies such as MoCA, G.hn, power line communication, and HomePNA, are expected to start gaining additional traction.

The growing popularity of these devices with pay-TV and broadband operators looking to extend the delivery throughout the home is expected to increase consumer acceptance of them.

“The market vision is to enable a seamless networking environment that will rely on a number of technologies,” adds Mr. Inouye. “A consumer, for instance, might start a file transfer to a media tablet using 60GHz wireless technology, then switch to a 5GHz technology as the device moves about the home, and then again, unbeknownst to the consumer, switch to MoCA to finish the download as the tablet is docked.

“Even with working groups such as P1905.1 building toward a connected networking environment, this future will still need the support of all companies throughout the value chain, considering the large number of consumers who in past primary studies have shown a general lack of awareness about the networking technologies currently in their homes.”

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