Cisco, Aruba and Ruckus are the big winners in the space, which also is seeing more service providers relying on WiFi to offload cellular network traffic, IDC analysts said.
The burgeoning bring-your-own-device
trend in enterprises was a key driving factor in the first-quarter revenue
growth in the global WLAN market, and helped Cisco Systems and Aruba Networks
both grow their share of the highly competitive market, according to market
research firm IDC.
According to numbers released May 22
by IDC analysts, worldwide WLAN revenue grew 13.9 percent in the first three
months of the year, with the enterprise segment alone jumping 27.2 percent.
Much of that growth can be attributed to the BYOD push and to service providers
looking for ways to alleviate the pressure on their cellular networks,
according to Rohit Mehra, director of IDCs Enterprise Communications
"The momentum behind bring your
own device in the enterprise continues unabated, and is the single largest
factor driving enterprise mobility and WLAN market growth," Mehra said in
a statement. "Along with the increasing use of WiFi by service providers
to offload cellular data traffic, current market drivers in key verticals will
ensure the market for enterprise-class WLAN devices and solutions will see
continued traction, and that the market is expected to stay vibrant for the
The growth of the BYOD trendalso
called the consumerization of ITwas sparked first by the emergence of
smartphones, including Apples iPhone and the various devices based on Googles
Android mobile operating systemand then by tablets, in particular Apples
iPad. Employees no longer want to rely only on the company-issued laptops and
mobile phones. Instead, they want to be able to access the corporate network
and data with their own devices, a trend that improves worker productivity but
creates security and management issues for IT.
Various studies are finding that the
BYOD issue will not go away, and that organizations increasingly are embracing
it. Networking and collaboration vendorsincluding Cisco, Juniper Networks, Hewlett-Packard
and othersare rolling out products and services designed to enable businesses
to more easily create and implement BYOD policies.
In a study released earlier this
month, communications giant BT
found that more than 80
percent of IT managers believe businesses can gain a competitive advantage by
implementing a BYOD program, and that four out of five companies have
implemented a program or are planning to do so within the next two years. In a
similar study, Cisco found
that 95 percent of respondents said
their organizations allow employee-owned devices in some form in the workplace,
and that 76 percent said BYOD was somewhat or extremely positive for their
companies while at the same time challenging for their IT departments.
However, not all studies
are as positive. In a report
issued in April, Mimecast, an email archiving and security firm, found that
while 47 percent of respondents find consumerization of IT important to highly
important to the enterprise, 21 percent said BYOD has been a risk to the
business, with a separate 26 percent admitting their business does not allow
employees to use their own devices for corporate tasks.
That said, the WLAN numbers reported
by IDC show the demand businesses have for the technology, according to Petr
Jiovsky, senior research analyst for IDCs Worldwide Networking Trackers Group.
"The positive results in the
enterprise WLAN market over the last several quarters, which includes several
established and emerging vendors, indicates that WLAN investments remain high
on the priority list of many CIOs," Jirovsky said in a statement.
Cisco continues to be the big winner
in the market, seeing its leading share of the worldwide WLAN market holding at
52.4 percent. The companys global WLAN revenue jumped 27 percent in the first
quarter, compared with the same period in 2011, with almost half of that
business being done in North America, according to IDC.
Aruba, which saw its revenue grow
42.8 percent from the first quarter last year, has a market share of 11.6
percent. Rounding out the top five were HPwhose WLAN revenue grew 10
percentwhich saw its market share drop from 6.6 percent in the first quarter of
2011 to 5.7 percent this year; Motorola Solutions, with a 5.3 percent share;
and Ruckus, which posted 183 percent revenue growth and a 5.2 percent share.