Worldwide WLAN Market Shows Solid Growth in Third Quarter of 2013

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The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments increased 13.7% year over year in the third quarter of 2013 (3Q13).

According to IDC, the enterprise segment continued to grow at a very healthy rate and increased another 12.8% over the same period last year. While the pace of the enterprise WLAN market growth is starting to slow moderately from the 20%-plus year-over-year increases seen several quarters ago, the enterprise WLAN market continues to be one of the fastest growing networking markets out there. The consumer WLAN market also had an excellent quarter in 3Q13 and grew at an even faster rate than the enterprise class segment with its 14.6% year-over-year jump. The growth in the consumer WLAN space appears to be accelerating due to strong growth in the emerging markets.

Key enterprise WLAN vendor updates

  • Cisco's 3Q13 worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue grew 16.8% year over year, which was above the overall market. Cisco's 3Q13 enterprise WLAN revenues reached a record $593.1 million in the quarter with solid contributions across all major regions. Cisco's worldwide market share stands at 51.9% in 3Q13, up from 51.6% in 2Q13 and 50.1% in 3Q12.
  • Aruba (excluding its OEM business) had an off quarter in 3Q13 and its enterprise revenue actually declined -4.0% year over year. As a result, Aruba's market share now stands at 9.5% of the enterprise WLAN market and is below 10% for the first time since 4Q10.
  • HP also underperformed the overall market with its 5.5% year over year and 1.9% sequential growth in 3Q13. Still, HP was able to keep its number 3 spot in the market, behind Cisco and Aruba, and just ahead of Ruckus.
  • Ruckus grew a solid 21.2% year over year in 3Q13 and now accounts for 5.6% of the overall market.

"Across all verticals and geographies, the explosion of mobility with bring your own device (BYOD) continues to drive new investments in WLAN infrastructure," said Rohit Mehra, Vice President, Network Infrastructure, at IDC. "While growth has slowed from previous quarters, especially in North America, the growing mobility needs of education, retail, and healthcare, among other verticals, along with the expected rise in 802.11ac uptake will lead to continued growth in the enterprise WLAN market."

From a geographic perspective, the enterprise WLAN market performed especially well in Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan) with its 31.4% year-over-year growth and in both Western Europe and in Central & Eastern Europe where it increased in excess of 20.0% year over year in 3Q13. Japan and Latin America both showed solid results as well with 14.3% and 15.1% year-over-year growth, respectively. At the other end of the spectrum, North America and the Middle East & Africa regions had growth in the mid to high single digit range on an annual basis this quarter.

"Although regional and country-level WLAN growth trends diverged widely in 3Q13, the worldwide outlook for enterprise, service provider, and consumer segments still remains positive due to highly anticipated network upgrade cycles," said Petr Jirovsky, Research Manager, Worldwide Networking Trackers.

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