Home networking activity in western Europe is growing alongside broadband uptake and is creating new opportunities for resellers.
In a report called The Western European Home Networking Market, research firm In-Stat/MDR predicts that by the end of this year, about 4.5 million home networks will be in place in western Europe, compared with 2.8 million at the end of 2002, a growth rate of almost 60 per cent.
The study has claimed there will be more than 15 million home networks by the end of 2007.
Keith Humphreys, EuroLAN managing consultant, said: "Resellers have a good play in the small-office/home-office (SoHo) space and the low end of the SME market.
"There have been a lot of redundancies in the UK with people setting up their own companies and demanding home networking.
"SoHos are less cautious than the corporates about adopting wireless technology where standards are emerging."
Paul Cunningham, services director at Cisco distributor Comstor, said Cisco's acquisition of wireless networking company LinkSys was evidence of rising interest from the SME and SoHo sectors.
"Resellers with a strong local presence in areas where there are a large number of knowledge or teleworkers could look at putting together a service in the home networking space," said Cunningham. "They can manage the whole thing from security to usage and billing."
Bal Phull, UK marcoms manager at vendor D-Link, said the increase in home wireless networks also helps corporate resellers.
"Home networking is not a market for resellers to rule off. Wireless installation for a home network or for a SoHo still costs good money and the premises are large, users will want it done properly," he said.
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