The rapid growth in sales of smartphones and tablets is driving WLAN revenues, and vendors like Cisco, HP and Aruba are benefiting, according to analysts.
growth in sales of smartphones and tablets-and their increasing use in
businesses-is fueling the rapid expansion of the wireless LAN market, according
to several reports released in recent days.
In the most
recent report released Sept. 6, Canalys analysts said the WLAN space-which
includes access points and controllers-grew to $575 million in revenue in the
second quarter, with 1.6 million units shipped. The revenue represented a 35
percent increase over the same period last year, when the market was worth $561
million, according to Canalys.
The rising demand for better WLAN environments
benefiting market leader Cisco Systems, according to various analyst firms, but
also helping growing rivals, such as Aruba Networks, Hewlett-Packard and
Motorola Solutions, all of which saw their second-quarter revenue jump.
demand for WiFi connectivity-driven by the proliferation of mobile devices like
smartphones and tablets-was the key reason for the growth, and enterprises will
continue to see such technology push its way into the corporate world,
according to Canalys analyst Alex Smith. Building WLAN environments that can handle
the explosive growth of consumer mobile devices in the workplace is a key
consideration for businesses going forward.
suitable wireless LAN strategy, a business will soon find its existing
networking deployments overwhelmed," Smith said in a statement. "There is a lot
of hype around the cloud, but the first step in taking advantage of shared
resources is ensuring that the maximum number of users and devices can access
analysts said that tablet shipments worldwide will grow from 45 million units
in 2011 to more than 113 million in 2015, with smartphone shipments jumping
from 455 million units this year to 864 million in four years.
the healthy growth in the WLAN market was the migration to the 802.11n
standard, which Canalys said supports a higher density of devices and is
fueling a strong refresh cycle in existing WLAN environments.
numbers echo those from research firms Dell'Oro Group and IDC, both of which
recently said that enterprises dealing with the influx of consumer mobile devices
into their environments are driving the growth in the WLAN market.
Sept. 1 said that in the second
quarter, WLAN revenue grew 29.7 percent over the same period in 2010, jumping
to $1.52 billion, with the enterprise WLAN segment growing 43.4 percent to
almost $725 million in that interval.
mobility has emerged as one of the key priorities for CIOs and IT managers
across all geographies, and the growth of WLAN market revenue during the second
quarter is a clear testament to that market dynamic," Rohit Mehra,
director of IDC's Enterprise Communications Infrastructure unit, said in a
statement. "The tremendous momentum behind smart mobile devices and their
continued uptake in the enterprise for business and vertical-specific
applications are driving enterprises to move forward with upgrades and
extensions of their wireless networks."
reported Aug. 30 that WLAN revenue in the second quarter grew 24 percent, with
enterprise WLAN revenue increasing 40 percent. All three segments-enterprise,
service providers, and small and home offices (SOHO)-saw double-digit growth
over the second quarter of 2010, the firm said.
wins drove exceptional sequential quarters for some vendors, including Motorola
Solutions, up over 100 [percent] and Alcatel-Lucent, up over 80 [percent]," Chris
DePuy, an analyst covering wireless LAN research at Dell'Oro Group. "This is an
indication of how important WLAN is becoming to enterprises and service
providers-that a handful of wins can register in the tens of millions of
dollars for any single customer in any given quarter."
analysts also talked about the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend, in which
workers are bringing their own devices-such as smartphones and tablets-into the
enterprise and expecting to gain access to the corporate network. It's the BYOD
trend and the skyrocketing popularity of Apple's iPad that is generating a lot
of revenue growth for WLAN vendors. The same can be seen in the SOHO segment,
which is helping out such vendors as Netgear, Cisco and D-Link, Dell'Oro said.
enterprise WLAN vendors, IDC said that Cisco's revenue grew 36.2 percent in the
quarter, but that its market share dropped to just over 50 percent. Other
vendors, including Aruba, HP and Motorola Solutions, also saw strong revenue
growth, ranging from 52.7 percent to 65.8 percent.
similar numbers, listing Meru Networks as the fifth-largest WLAN vendor. Cisco
remained on top, the firm said, with its market share increasing slightly from
53.4 percent in the second quarter of 2010 to 53.7 percent this year. Aruba had
14.6 percent of the market, with HP-leveraging its acquisitions of 3Com and
Colubris Networks-grabbing 7.8 percent market share.
boost both public cloud investment and mobile device adoption in the
enterprise, the real winners will be wireless LAN vendors capable of steering
government and business organizations to the right networking environments,"
Canalys' Smith said. "Before there was the cloud, there were wireless LANs, and
they are still hugely important today."