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IDC Predicts Continued Growth in Worldwide WLAN Market

An increase in mobility applications and the continued emergence of 802.11ac have made the enterprise WLAN market one of the fastest growing networking market segments worldwide, according to a new report from International Data Corp.

According to preliminary results published in IDC's Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, the combined consumer and enterprise worldwide WLAN market segments increased 11.5 percent year over year in the fourth quarter of 2013, while the enterprise segment increased 11.7 percent over the same period. For the full year 2013, the enterprise WLAN market jumped 15 percent compared to the previous year, and the consumer WLAN market increased 11 percent. According to IDC, growth in the consumer WLAN space appears to be accelerating due to strong growth in the emerging markets and market transition from the older 802.11n standard to the newer and faster 802.11ac standard.

"Across all geographies and in most of the key verticals, the expansion of mobility applications for enterprise IT continues to drive new investments in WLAN infrastructure," said Rohit Mehra, vice president for network infrastructure at IDC, in a prepared statement. "While the growth rate has stabilized in recent quarters, new mobility applications, particularly for the education, retail and healthcare verticals, along with expanded deployment options and the continued emergence of 802.11ac will lead to continued growth in the enterprise WLAN market."

The enterprise WLAN market performed especially well in Latin America, with 37.2 percent year-over-year growth in the fourth quarter of 2013. In that same period, Asia/Pacific increased 22.7 percent and the Europe, Middle East and Africa region increased 20.1 percent. On the other hand, North America was relatively weak this quarter, up just 0.7 percent compared to the previous year.

WLAN Vendor Analysis

Cisco's 4Q13 worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue grew 6.1 percent year over year and declined -2.5 percent on a sequential basis over 3Q13. The company's worldwide market share stands at 48.4 percent in 4Q13, down from 52.2 percent in 3Q13 and 51.0 percent in 4Q12. Still, Cisco's full year 2013 results demonstrate growth of 15.1 percent year over year, marginally exceeding the 15.0 percent year-over-year growth of the total market.

Aruba (excluding its OEM business) grew 7.9 percent sequentially over 3Q13, and showed a 3.5 percent year-over-year increase in 4Q13. Aruba's full year 2013 annual growth reached 5.1 percent and its enterprise WLAN market share now stands at 9.8 percent, up from 9.5 percent in 3Q13.

Ruckus grew 20.8 percent year over year in 4Q13 and now accounts for 5.7 percent of the overall market.

HP 4Q13 revenue increased 18.1 percent year over year but declined -2.4 percent sequentially. HP's full year 2013 enterprise WLAN growth was 13.1 percent.

About the Author

About the author: Rhea Kelly is executive editor for Campus Technology. She can be reached at rkelly@1105media.com.

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