Enterprise WLAN Market Keeps Growth Momentum
December 9, 2021
Growth rates remained strong
in the enterprise segment of the wireless local area networking
(WLAN) market in the third quarter of 2021 (3Q21) as the market
increased 11.9% year over year to $1.9 billion. In the
consumer-class WLAN market, revenues declined 7.3% in the
quarter to $2.4 billion. The combined enterprise and consumer
WLAN markets grew revenues 0.4% year over year in 3Q21,
according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide
Quarterly W ireless LAN Tracker.
The 11.9% growth in the enterprise-class segment builds on a
strong first half of the year when the market increased 23.5%
compared to first two quarters of 2020. Compared to the third
quarter of 2019 – before the global COVID-19 pandemic – 3Q21
revenues increased 20.1%, indicating that demand in the
enterprise WLAN is organically strong, outside of year-over-year
comparisons to challenging markets for the industry in the
height of the pandemic.
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 (AP) made up 62.2% of the revenues in the
Dependent AP segment and accounted for 50.7% of unit shipments
within the segment in 3Q21. Wi-Fi 5 products, also known as
802.11ac, made up the vast balance of remaining Dependent AP
Meanwhile, the consumer-class WLAN market declined 7.3% year
over year in 3Q21. During the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the
segment had robust growth due to consumers upgrading their
wireless connectivity. Compared to the second quarter of 2019
(before the pandemic), the market grew 6.2%, indicating that
fundamentals of the market remain strong. Wi-Fi 6 products
continued to grow in the consumer market, rising to make up
27.9% of the consumer segment's total revenue, up from 24.5% in
2Q21. Wi-Fi 5 APs still account for the majority of revenues
(61.4%) and unit shipments (63.6%).
"Enterprise WLAN is a dynamic market that continued to grow
through the first three quarters of the year. A key driver for
the enterprise WLAN sales is Wi-Fi 6, which once again fueled
uptake in the market," said Brandon Butler, research manager,
Network Infrastructure, IDC. "The enterprise WLAN market faces
challenges though as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to sow
uncertainty and supply chain issues are impacting markets across
the ICT sector."
From a geographic perspective, the enterprise WLAN market saw
growth across most regions of the world. Growth was particularly
strong in Asia/Pacific where the market in China grew 37.8% year
over year. Across the broader Asia/Pacific region (excluding
Japan and China), growth was 12.7% year over year with Australia
recording a 24.9% annual increase while Japan's market declined
21.3% year over year.
In the Americas, growth was mixed. The U.S. market increased
3.8% year over year in 3Q21 and compared to the third quarter of
2019, the market was up 18.0%. The Latin America region
increased 63.7% year over year in 3Q21 with Mexico's market
increasing 177.0%. Canada's market declined 1.0%.
The Western Europe market increased 16.2% year over year with
strength from Germany's market, which grew 28.8%. Central and
Eastern Europe increased 11.7% while the Middle East and Africa
region was up 1.7% year over year.
"WLAN remains a key technology, fueling enterprise
wireless-first network transformation journeys," noted Petr
Jirovsky, research director, Worldwide Networking Trackers.
"This enabled enterprise WLAN market growth to be relatively
strong across all regions of the world in the third quarter of
Key Enterprise WLAN Vendor Updates:
Cisco saw its enterprise WLAN revenues increase 7.7% year over
year in 3Q21. Cisco is the market share leader with 41.5% share,
up from 38.3% share in 2Q21.
HPE-Aruba revenues rose 5.0% year over year in 3Q21. The
company's market share was 11.8%, down slightly from 12.2% in
the previous quarter.
Ubiquiti enterprise WLAN revenues increased 6.5% year over year
in 3Q21, giving the company 8.2% market share.
Huawei enterprise WLAN revenues rose 36.6% year over year in
3Q21, giving the company 7.8% market share.
H3C revenues increased 56.3% in 3Q21, giving the company 5.8%
market share, up from 4.8% in the previous quarter.