Q4 Enterprise WLAN Market Up 21.8%
March 10, 2022
enterprise segment of the worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN)
market continued its strong growth in the fourth quarter of 2021
(4Q21) with revenues increasing 21.8% year over year to $2.3
billion, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC)
Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker. For the full year 2021, enterprise
WLAN revenues increased 20.4% compared to 2020 and reached $7.6
The consumer segment of the WLAN market declined 10.1% year over
year in 4Q21 and fell 2.5% for the full year, giving the combined
enterprise and consumer markets a 3.0% growth rate in 4Q21 and a
6.5% growth rate for the full year. Revenues for the combined
enterprise and consumer WLAN markets totaled $17.2 billion for
calendar year 2021.
Growth in the enterprise WLAN market continues to be driven by the
latest Wi-Fi standard, known as Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax. Wi-Fi 6 access
points made up 75.1% of the revenues in the Dependent Access Point
(AP) segment and accounted for 61.3% of unit shipments within the
segment. Wi-Fi 5 products, also known as 802.11ac, made up most of
the remaining balance of Dependent AP sales.
Meanwhile, the decline in the consumer-class WLAN market was largely
due to difficult comparisons to the strong results in 2020, when
consumers upgraded their wireless connectivity in response to the
pandemic. Compared to the full year 2019 (before the pandemic), the
consumer market grew 12.6% in 2021, indicating that the market's
fundamentals remain strong. Wi-Fi 6 products continued to grow in
the consumer market, rising to make up 28.2% of the consumer
segment's total revenue and 13.1% of shipments. Wi-Fi 5 APs still
make up the majority of revenues (61.4%) and unit shipments (63.6%).
"The enterprise segment of the WLAN market continued its steady
rebound in the final quarter of 2021, leading to a significant
full-year growth rate for the industry in 2021," said Brandon
Butler, research manager, Network Infrastructure at IDC. "The growth
rates indicate that organizations across the globe are reinvesting
in their connectivity strategy and prioritizing wireless-first
access in the local area network as a key part of their digital
From a geographic perspective, the enterprise WLAN market grew
across most regions of the world. The market was particularly strong
in the People's Republic of China, which saw year-over-year growth
of 50.5% in 4Q21 and 47.2% for the full year. In the broader
Asia/Pacific region, excluding China and Japan, the market increased
20.9% in the quarter and 16.0% for the full year. Japan's market
declined 21.1% in 4Q21.
The enterprise WLAN market in the United States rose 15.4% in 4Q21
and increased 14.6% for the full year. Canada's market increased
11.1% in 4Q21, while the market in Latin America rose 23.6% in the
quarter and 33.0% for the full year. In Western Europe the market
grew 33.9% in 4Q21, leading to full-year growth of 22.9%; in Central
and Eastern Europe the market grew 7.5% for the quarter and 10.6%
for the full year. In the Middle East & Africa, the enterprise WLAN
market rose 4.8% in the quarter and grew 6.6% for the full year.
"Growth in enterprise WLAN was strong in the fourth quarter across
most parts of the world, leading to full-year growth for most
regions," noted Petr Jirovsky, research director, Worldwide
Networking Trackers. "The enterprise WLAN market is maintaining its
healthy growth rates compared to 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was
peaking, indicating that organizations have resumed their wireless
network infrastructure spending."
enterprise WLAN revenues increased 22.1% in 4Q21 and rose 14.2% for
the full year. Cisco ended 2021 with 40.5% market share, down
slightly from the 42.7% market share in 2020.
HPE-Aruba revenues rose 9.9% year over year in 4Q21 and increased
14.0% for the full year. The company's market share was 12.8% for
the full year 2021, down slightly from 13.5% in full year 2020.
Ubiquiti enterprise WLAN revenues declined 3.3% year over year in
4Q21 but increased 14.7% for the full year, giving the company 8.0%
market share for the full year 2021.
Huawei enterprise WLAN revenues rose 48.0% year over year in 4Q21
and rose 44.4% for the full year, giving the company 7.4% market
share for the full year, up from 6.2% market share in 2020.
H3C revenues increased 41.8% in 4Q21 and rose 33.7% for the full
year, giving the company 4.8% market share for the full year, up
from 4.3% in 2020.
The IDC Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker provides
total market size and vendor share data in an easy-to-use Excel
pivot table format. The geographic coverage includes nine major
regions (USA, Canada, Latin America, People's Republic of China,
Asia/Pacific (excluding Japan & China), Japan, Western Europe,
Central and Eastern Europe, and Middle East and Africa) and 60
countries. The WLAN market is further segmented by product class,
product type, product, standard, and location. Measurement for the
WLAN market is provided in vendor revenue, value, and unit