Report: WLAN Market Continues Record Growth

Market research consultancy Dell’Oro Group has reported record growth in the global WLAN market over the last quarter (Q1 2010). The chief driver appears to be the ongoing strength of the enterprise market, which reached its highest quarterly revenue point for the quarter. Of the leading WLAN vendors covered in the report, Alcatel-Lucent, Aruba, Meru, Motorola, NETGEAR and Trapeze all posted record quarterly revenues.

Enterprise market revenues grew at twice the rate of the overall market and have now risen five straight quarters, showing that WLAN continues to grow in importance to businesses, said Loren Shalinksy, senior analyst of Wireless LAN research at DellOro Group. First quarter enterprise WLAN revenues are traditionally the low point of the year, as we have seen every year since we started tracking this market in 2002. We forecast that the record enterprise revenues during the first quarter will help propel the overall market to over $5 billion this year, easily surpassing the previous annual high in 2008.

To flesh out the details: Q4 2009 WLAN sales came in at a then-high of 18 million units, due to the SOHO market, with particular success up-market in the key verticals of retail, education, health care, and hospitality on the enterprise side. In addition to the vendor leaders mentioned above, Aruba, Buffalo, D-Link, and HP all recorded record quarterly revenues for the period.

Speaking of those Q4 findings at the time, Shalinksy said, Fourth quarter unit shipments grew dramatically, but promotional discounts in the SOHO market offset a large portion of the revenue gains. SOHO 802.11n wireless router unit gains from D-Link and NETGEAR accounted for over half of the total wireless LAN markets increased shipments. In the enterprise market, Motorola gained 40 percent in revenue, benefitting from a resurging retail sector. Alcatel-Lucent more than doubled its 802.11n shipments, which led to the rise in their average selling prices, contributing to their more than 30 percent increase in revenue.

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