Wireless LAN shipments to hit 18% of networking in 2018

Friday 27 June 2014 | 09:16 CET | News

Worldwide router, switch and wireless LAN shipments are expected to reach USD 33.7 billion in 2018 from 29.9 billion in 2013, with wireless LANs representing 18 percent of enterprise networking value by 2018, from 14 percent last year, according to a study by Canalys.

Canalys said the data clearly shows the ongoing shift in budgets from wired to wireless. The transition to 11ac continued to accelerate during the first quarter, following the start of customer adoption in the third quarter of last year. Just over 10 percent of access point shipments were estimated to be 11ac. Deployments are beginning to move beyond the early adopter phase, led by the education sector, into the broader enterprise and mid-market, catalyzed by vendors expanding their 11ac access point portfolios with more entry level and affordable models. Controllerless systems are also an important growth area, especially among mid-market and SMB customers, as well as highly distributed organisations.

Wireless LAN shipments in Q1 increased 11 percent year-on-year to USD 1.1 billion, but were down 8.4 percent from the previous quarter, in line with typical seasonal trends.

Cisco remained the market leader, accounting for 53 percnet of shipments. Specialist vendors gained share, particularly Aruba Networks, Ruckus Wireless, Aerohive Networks and Ubiquiti Networks, all of which are capitalizing on growth in 11ac, controllerless solutions and service providers. Together, these vendors now represent 28 percent of shipments, from 21 percent the year before.

Overall, growth this quarter was strongest among micro (39%) and small (17%) businesses, with medium-sized (12%) businesses also doing well. Together, these companies accounted for 37 percent of shipments. Large enterprises also increased (7%) and remain the biggest addressable segment, accounting for 53 percent of shipments. Service providers (17%) accounted for the remaining 10 percent , with many continuing to invest in expanding Wi-Fi hotspot coverage and cellular data offloading capabilities, particularly cable providers. Service providers are also evaluating analytics and location-based services to add value to their Wi-Fi services, including more targeted and contextual advertising.

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