WLAN enterprise growth slows after 802.11n upgrade rush

While enterprises revenue slows, service providers are picking up some of the slack

Because many enterprises have already upgraded their networks to the 802.11n standard, sales growth in the enterprise wireless LAN sector was cut in half during the second quarter, according to Infonetics Research.

Global wireless LAN (WLAN) equipment revenue increased by 14 percent year-on-year in the second quarter, compared to a jump of almost 30 percent year-on-year during the same period last year, according to Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst at Infonetics. Still, equipment for WLANs remains the fastest growing network segment, he said.

The major event this quarter was initial shipments of enterprise class access points based on 802.11ac -- which is the latest standard for WLANs and promises increased speeds, network reliability and the ability to handle more users. But the impact of 802.11ac on overall sales will be minor this year because many enterprises have just upgraded to 802.11n, Machowinski said.

Wireless industry expert Roger Hockaday agreed:

"There is no burning desire to move to 802.11ac at the moment, apart for in some very specific high density environments, like a university lecture theater," he said.

But while many large enterprises are in a holding pattern, service providers are increasing their investments. For example, shipments of access points for outdoor use grew by 22 percent year-on-year during the second quarter, propelled by service provider deployments, according to Infonetics.

The growth also comes from public indoor areas such as shopping malls, according to Hockaday. He also thinks small and medium-size companies will show a growing interest in building WLANs.

"When you talk to medium sized companies, they don't see wireless as critical, because they haven't seen the need yet. But I think that will change, as more laptops come without an Ethernet port and the use of tablets grow," Hockaday said.

The perennial leaders in the WLAN market -- Cisco Systems and Aruba Wireless -- both turned in solid performances during the second quarter and grew their share of overall revenue, according to Infonetics.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Cisco SystemsNetworkingwirelessAruba networksInfonetics ResearchWLANs / Wi-Fi

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?