Enterprise Wireless LANs on the Rise

Enterprises are rushing to keep up with rapidly growing network demand from mobile devices, and that's leading to healthy increases in sales and installations of wireless local area networking (WLAN), according to a new report from Infonetics Research.
"Sales data for 2011 enterprise networking equipment are in, and the results are very clear: Enterprises are racing to upgrade their infrastructure to support the wave of wireless devices hitting their networks," Matthias Machowinski, Infonetics' directing analyst for enterprise networks and video, stated. "While the bulk of expenditures still goes toward wired Ethernet switches, and will for some time to come, the growth is coming from wireless networking gear, up 24% in 2011, compared to flat sales for Ethernet switches."

With wireless LAN taking up an increasingly large share of the enterprise IT pie, it's essential that vendors and service providers to have a "well-developed wireless strategy to address the evolving requirements of their customers," he added.
Among the key findings of Infonetics' "Wireless LAN Equipment and WiFi Phones" report are the following:

  • The global wireless LAN (WLAN) equipment market hit an all-time quarterly high of $893 million in 4Q11, up 1% over the previous high of $880 million set in 3Q11
  • Sales of wireless LAN equipment have been on a strong double-digit year-over-year growth trajectory for 9 consecutive quarters
  • 2011 demand for wireless LAN equipment sales was well balanced across the major world regions, all posting 20%+ annual growth
  • Access point (AP) shipments grew stronger than revenue in 2011, jumping 32% and crossing the 7 million unit mark
  • 802.11n APs now make up about 75% of all AP sales
  • Due mainly to declining prices, the torrid growth rate of the WLAN market is expected to slow, but pick back up in 2015 with the adoption of 802.11ac technology
  • Market leader Cisco saw significant competitive pressure across its product portfolio in 2011, and the wireless LAN market was no exception, though it easily maintained its near-50% lead
  • Top-ranked WLAN specialist Aruba strengthened its 2nd place position in 2011, while HP and Motorola continue to battle it out for 3rd
Written by Kevin Kutcher at 11:00
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