Annual sales of networking hardware will rocket from almost $9bn in 2004 to more than $21bn in 2009, analysts predicted today.
According to In-Stat, demand for higher speeds, lower prices and increasing network areas in the home is driving the huge growth in domestic networking.
However, the analyst firm predicted that one highly touted use, the storage and streaming of multimedia files, "may take years to catch on" with consumers.
"Our research shows growing interest among US consumers to use home networks to connect their increasing library of digital entertainment audio and video files with their traditional entertainment equipment, i.e. stereo and TV," said In-Stat analyst Joyce Putscher.
"As consumers become more comfortable and familiar with the idea of bridging their PCs with their traditional analogue equipment, interest will pick up."
The installed base of home networks jumped from about 24 million worldwide in 2003 to 37 million in 2004.
The study noted that home networking equipment continues to drop in price, and increasing functionality such as wireless and VoIP is being integrated.
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