Global WLAN Market Sees Steady Growth: IDC
The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments grew 9.2% year over year in the second quarter of 2014. According to IDC report, the enterprise segment continued to grow at a steady rate and increased 7.7% over the same period last year. This is indeed a positive sign as the enterprise WLAN market growth has been steadily decreasing over the last several quarters, despite being one of the faster growing networking market segments.
The gains in the WLAN space benefitted from the ongoing transition from the older 802.11n standard to the newer and faster 802.11ac standard as well as a solid performance in emerging markets, notes the research firm.
The consumer WLAN market too had a very good quarter, growing 10.9% year over year, it says. In emerging markets in Asia/Pacific, especially China, the second largest consumer WLAN market (behind the US), IDC sees a 36.9% year over year jump in revenue and a massive 81.3% increase in unit shipments.
“The continued worldwide growth of WLAN across different verticals and use cases demonstrates WLAN’s importance to today’s enterprise, as it supports a growing number of business-critical mobility applications,” said Rohit Mehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure, at IDC.
”While growth has stabilized, enterprise requirements around mobility and cloud applications, as well as the emergence of the Internet of Things, are driving network upgrades and greenfield deployments. This, along with the rapid uptake of the 802.11ac standard, will help sustain WLAN market growth in the near to mid-term,” he said.
The enterprise WLAN market performed especially well in the Americas with its 35.4% year-over-year growth in 2Q14. Leading the charge in the region were Brazil (up 61.5% year over year) and Argentina (up 51.3% year over year). The Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) region followed with a solid increase of 20.7% year over year that was spread relatively evenly across the region including good performances in the large economies of× Europe. Notable year-over-year increases in this region included France (up 33.4% in 2Q14), the United Kingdom (24.9%), Spain (22.9%), and Italy (12.1%).
The Asia Pacific enterprise WLAN market which grew at 10.5% year over year was also hit due to weakness in Korea (down -15.8% year over year) and Indonesia (-29.3%). Nevertheless, other major Asia Pacific countries performed well this quarter.
The research notes that although growth was flat for some of the traditionally strong vendors and regions in 2Q14, the worldwide enterprise WLAN market remains strong as technological innovations, along with increasing network demands, drive investments in network infrastructure.
Of the Key enterprise WLAN vendors, Cisco’s 2Q14 worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue underperformed the overall market and was down -2.3%, despite growing 11.2% quarter over quarter after the seasonally weaker first quarter. Cisco’s performance was impacted by relative weakness in the service provider vertical in America and Asia Pacific, it said.
Of the other players, Aruba’s market share increased to 11.8% of the enterprise WLAN market, up from the 10.6% in 2Q13 and Ruckus also significantly outperformed the overall enterprise WLAN market after growing 27.7% year over year and 7.4% quarter over quarter in 2Q14.
HP’s 2Q14 revenue underperformed the overall market and decreased -17.5% year over year despite growing 15.4% quarter over quarter. As a result, HP’s market share dropped to 4.5% of the market from 5.8% in the same period last year.
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