The enterprise wireless local area network (WLAN) market is hoping continued demand for network refreshes triggers a new wave of investment in an industry currently experiencing “moderate growth”.
Other positive indicators in 2019 and beyond include the execution of digital transformation initiatives and the introduction of a new wireless standard named WiFi 6 coming to market soon.
Such aspirations follow the release of new IDC findings, which report that the enterprise segment increased 3.1 per cent year-over-year during the second quarter of 2019, reaching nearly US$1.6 billion.
“The enterprise WLAN market continues to see moderate growth, driven by a variety of factors," said Brandon Butler, senior research analyst, IDC. “Enterprise connectivity continues to be a top priority for organisations in their efforts to create a digital workplace and wireless has become a critical platform to engage with customers.
“Meanwhile, digital transformation is leading organisations to consider broader enterprise campus refreshes as well, which will continue to fuel this market's growth in the coming quarters.”
According to Butler, the enterprise WLAN market is now “dominated” by the 802.11ac standard, which makes up 86.8 per cent of enterprise-dependent access point (AP) shipments and 92.3 per cent of 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, according to IDC.
Regionally speaking, the market in Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) increased 4.9 per cent year-over-year during the three month period, driven by notable growth in India (11.1 per cent) and China (4.4 per cent).
“The worldwide enterprise WLAN market saw varying conditions across the globe,” added Petr Jirovsky, research director, IDC. “While the market is mature and moderately growing in the U.S., geopolitical issues are beginning to impact growth across many parts of the world.
“Meanwhile, the coming 802.11ax standard will lead to a new wave of refresh cycles for enterprises, providing an expected boost to the market starting later this year or early next year.”
Specific to vendors, Cisco's worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue increased 6.3 per cent year-over-year during the quarter, and was up 7.2 per cent sequentially between the first and second quarters of 2019.
According to IDC, the technology giant’s worldwide market share totalled 44.9 per cent during the period, rising slightly from 43.6 per cent the year previous.
Meanwhile, revenues attributed to Aruba and Hewlett Packard Enterprise fell 4.2 per cent year-over-year during the second quarter but rose 29.6 per cent from the first quarter. The vendor’s collective market share stands at 14 per cent during the second quarter, down from 15.1 per cent 12 months prior.
Delving deeper, Ubiquiti recorded another quarter of strong growth, increasing 22.4 per cent year-over-year, accounting for 6.8 per cent of the enterprise market during the quarter, up from 5.7 per cent.
During the quarter, CommScope and Ruckus declined 11.4 per cent year-over-year and rose 24.3 per cent sequentially, collectively accounting for 5.8 per cent of the enterprise WLAN market.
Rounding off the market leaders, Huawei rose 8.2 per cent, giving the Chinese vendor 5.4 per cent market share versus its 5.1 per cent market share the year previously.