Worldwide Enterprise WLAN Market Continues Moderate Growth in 1Q19


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The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments increased 6.9% year over year in the first quarter of 2019 (1Q19), finishing at $2.4 billion. According to results published in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, the enterprise segment grew 7.1% year over year in 1Q19 to reach $1.4 billion while consumer WLAN market revenue increased 6.6%, finishing at $1.0 billion. The market is being driven by enterprises continuing to upgrade their wireless infrastructure as users and devices rely on an increasing array of bandwidth-heavy applications.

The enterprise WLAN is now dominated by the 802.11ac standard, which makes up 86.4% of dependent access point (AP) shipments and 93.1% of enterprise WLAN dependent AP revenues. The next iteration of the standard, 802.11ax also known as WiFi 6, will increase in the market throughout the rest of 2019 and into 2020.In the consumer WLAN market, the 802.11ac standard accounted for 58.0% of shipments and 79.2% of revenue in 1Q19.

"The WLAN market continues to see steady, moderate growth as enterprises invest in wireless connectivity to support the continued demand for access technology," said Brandon Butler, senior research analyst, Network Infrastructure at IDC. "Meanwhile, the coming WiFi 6 standard will be a major driver of growth in the WLAN market in the coming years, especially in the advanced enterprise segments of the market."

From a geographic perspective, the enterprise WLAN market saw its strongest 1Q19 growth in the Middle East & Africa region, which rose 23.8%. Notable growth in the region came from the United Arab Emirates increasing 25.7% year over year and Saudi Arabia growing 38.1%. The Western European region grew 10.8%, with the Netherlands up 20.4% and Norway growing 44.4%. Central and Eastern Europe grew 1.6% with the Czech Republic up 16.8% and Russia, the region's largest market, declining 15.8%. The Asia/Pacific region (excluding Japan) grew 2.4% with China increasing 9.0% year over year. Japan dropped 14.3% in 1Q19. The United States market grew 11.8% while Canada was off 0.4%.

"The enterprise WLAN market recorded growth across the globe, albeit with varying rates depending on the region," said Petr Jirovsky, research director, Worldwide Networking Trackers. "Vendors who hold the largest market share in the enterprise WLAN market drove growth in the most recent quarter, which is a positive sign for the WLAN industry in the future."

1Q19 Company Highlights

  • Cisco saw its worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue increase 11.6% year over year in 1Q19. Cisco's worldwide market share came in at 46.8% in 1Q19, up from 44.3% in 4Q18. The company's Meraki cloud-managed WLAN portfolio remains one of the primary growth drivers for Cisco.

  • Aruba-HPE revenues rose 20.3% year over year in 1Q19. Aruba-HPE's market share stands at 14.1% in 1Q19, up from 12.6% a year earlier.

  • Ubiquiti revenue increased 17.8% year over year in 1Q19, accounting for 7.3% of the market.

  • ARRIS/Ruckus revenue fell 27.6% year over year in 1Q19. ARRIS market share stands at 5.2%. After the end of 1Q19 (April 2019) CommScope completed the purchase of Ruckus Networks' parent company, ARRIS.

  • Huawei revenues grew 9.3% year over year in 1Q19, giving the company 4.2% of the global market.

About IDC Trackers

IDC Tracker products provide accurate and timely market size, vendor share, and forecasts for hundreds of technology markets from more than 100 countries around the globe. Using proprietary tools and research processes, IDC's Trackers are updated on a semiannual, quarterly, and monthly basis. Tracker results are delivered to clients in user-friendly excel deliverables and on-line query tools.

About IDC

International Data Corporation (IDC) is the premier global provider of market intelligence, advisory services, and events for the information technology, telecommunications, and consumer technology markets. With more than 1,100 analysts worldwide, IDC offers global, regional, and local expertise on technology and industry opportunities and trends in over 110 countries. IDC's analysis and insight helps IT professionals, business executives, and the investment community to make fact-based technology decisions and to achieve their key business objectives. Founded in 1964, IDC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of International Data Group (IDG), the world's leading media, data and marketing services company. 

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