Worldwide WLAN market shows steady growth in the first quarter of 2016, according to IDC

Via IDC

Jun 3, 2016

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., June 2, 2016 – The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments increased 4.5% year over year in the first quarter of 2016 (1Q16), while declining 10.7% on a sequential basis. According to the results published in the International Data Corporation ( IDC ) Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker , the enterprise segment grew 8.6% year over year in 1Q16, experiencing its best growth in more than a year. A number of factors contributed to this uptick, including refresh cycles, easing of economic concerns, greater availability of Wave 2 802.11ac products, and continued fulfillment of e-rate contracts in the education vertical in the United States.

The 802.11ac standard continues on its brisk adoption path and now accounts for 59.6% of dependent access point unit shipments and 75.6% of dependent access point revenues, representing a noticeably faster adoption rate from 802.11n than what we saw with the 802.11a/b/g to 802.11n transition several years ago.

Meanwhile, consumer WLAN market revenue was flat on a year-over-year basis in 1Q16. The adoption of the 802.11ac standard in the consumer market has been significantly slower than in the enterprise segment. In 1Q16, the 802.11ac standard accounted for just 18.4% of shipments and 46.1% of revenue in the consumer category.

"2016 is off to a strong start in terms of WLAN market growth, compared to the situation in the first quarter of 2015," said Nolan Greene , senior research analyst, Network Infrastructure at IDC. "With no major macroeconomic or geopolitical disruptions during the quarter, and as many network refreshes came due, WLAN spending trended upward in 1Q16."

From a geographic perspective, the enterprise WLAN market once again saw its strongest growth rates in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan)(APeJ), which saw 19.7% year-over-year growth in 1Q16. The North America region saw a healthy 14.0% increase year over year in 1Q16 after a tepid 4Q15. Growing below expectations were the Middle East & Africa (MEA) region, which recorded 4.5% year over year growth in 1Q16, and Western Europe, which increased by 2.7% in the same period. Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and Japan continue to experience softness, declining 8.8% and 9.2%, respectively in 1Q16. Latin America declined a significant 15.6% year over year in 1Q16, a drastic reversal from the solid growth experienced in 4Q15.

"Strong performances in North America and APeJ carried the market in 1Q16," said Petr Jirovsky , research manager, Worldwide Networking Trackers. "Regional growth was roughly aligned with general indicators of economic certainty."

Key Enterprise WLAN Vendor Updates:

Cisco 's 1Q16 worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue increased 2.7% year over year in 1Q16. Cisco's worldwide market share came in at 45.2% in 1Q16, up from the 45.0% seen in 4Q15, and down from 47.8% in 1Q15. IDC believes that the Meraki cloud-managed WLAN portfolio remains one of the primary growth drivers for Cisco.

Aruba-HPE (combining HP and Aruba but excluding its OEM business), after several consecutive quarters of growth, declined 2.3% in 1Q16 on a year-over-year basis. Aruba-HPE's market share stands at 15.8% in 1Q16, down from 15.9% in 4Q15 and 17.6% in 1Q15.

Ruckus had a strong quarter in 1Q16, growing 21.3% year over year. Ruckus accounted for 7.7% of the overall market in 1Q16, up from 6.7% in 4Q15 and 6.9% in 1Q15

Ubiquiti experienced very strong growth in 1Q16, increasing 63.3% year over year. Ubiquiti accounted for 4.3% of the overall market in 1Q16, up from 2.7% in 4Q15.

Aerohive also experienced noteworthy growth, increasing 62.9% year over year in 1Q16 as it continues to benefit from E-rate implementations in the U.S. In 1Q16, Aerohive held 2.3% of the market compared to 2.5% in 4Q15.

View Chart - "Top Five Enterprise WLAN Vendors, Market Revenues ($M), 1Q15 to 1Q16"

The IDC Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker provides total market size and vendors share data in an easy-to-use Excel Pivot Table format. The geographic coverage includes eight major regions (USA, Canada, Latin America, AP excluding Japan, Japan, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) and 58 countries. The WLAN market is further segmented by product class, product type, product, standard, and location. Measurement for the WLAN market is provided in factory revenue, customer revenue, and unit shipments.

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