802.11ac Adoption Grows WLAN Market Revenues

IDC reports on third quarter 2014 WLAN revenues and the impact of 802.11ac Wi-Fi adoption.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Nov 26, 2014
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The market for wireless LAN (WLAN) hardware continued to grow in the third quarter of 2014, according to research firm IDC.

IDC's Third Quarter 2014 Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker reported year-over-year revenue growth of 7.4 percent across both enterprise and consumer market segments.

The enterprise market is growing faster than the consumer side at this point, with enterprise WLAN revenue growth of 9.6 percent. In contrast, the consumer WLAN market only grew by 4.8 percent year-over-year.

Among the biggest driving factors for WLAN growth is the continued deployment of 802.11ac hardware. The 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard offers the promise of increased wireless speeds that can scale up to 1 Gbps. According to IDC, 802.11ac hardware now represents 39 percent of all WLAN revenues and 26.5 percent of access point shipments. IDC also notes that the adoption rate for 802.11ac is faster than the adoption rate of the prior 802.11n WiFi standard.

In terms of vendors, once again Cisco remains the leading WLAN vendor by revenue. In the third quarter of 2014, Cisco held down 48.3 percent of the WLAN market, up from 46.8 percent in the second quarter of 2014.

"Although 3Q14 was a fairly strong quarter for growth in the worldwide enterprise WLAN market, growth stories diverged across geographies and vendors," Petr Jirovský, Research Manager, Worldwide Networking Trackers at IDC, said in a statement. "As demand for 802.11ac continues to rise, and as innovation drives network upgrades, expect to see continued overall market growth with some variations among vendors and geographies."

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Enterprise Networking Planet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

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