Worldwide Enterprise WLAN Market Declined Slightly in Q3

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The combined enterprise and consumer wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments fell 3.6% year-over-year (YoY) in Q3 2019 with worldwide revenues of US$3.8 billion.

According to the latest IDC Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, the enterprise segment fell 1.1% YoY in 3Q19 to $1.62 billion. The market is in a state of transition as a new wireless standard comes to market, but the continued demand for wireless access technologies, combined with new advanced software management and automation capabilities are expected to drive growth in this market moving forward.

The entrance of the 802.11ax wireless standard, also known as Wi-Fi 6, in the market took some share from shipments of previous generation 802.11ac products. 802.11ac products accounted for 84.8% of dependent access point shipments in the enterprise segment and 86.2% of dependent access point revenues. 802.11ax products made up 3.1% of dependent access point shipments and 6.1% of revenues.

Meanwhile, the consumer WLAN market fell 5.3% YoY to $2.18 billion. Shipments of 802.11ac products accounted for 57.0% of units shipped, and 78.1% of revenues. The previous-generation 802.11n standard accounted for 42.8% of shipments, but only 20.8% of revenues.

“In Q3 2019, IDC tracked the initial shipments of 802.11ax, which includes numerous features for enterprises and Internet of Things use cases,” said Brandon Butler, senior research analyst, Enterprise Networks. “IDC expects the continued adoption of Wi-Fi 6 to be a major driver of growth for the enterprise WLAN market in Q4 2019 and throughout 2020.”

Results in the enterprise WLAN market were mixed across the globe. The Asia/Pacific region, excluding Japan, was up 3.3% annually in Q3 2019, with China growing 6.9% YoY while the Korean market fell 16.2%. Japan’s market dropped 19.8% compared to a year earlier.

“The enterprise WLAN marker saw mixed results regionally, in part influenced by macro-economic conditions that continue to disrupt the broader information technology sector,” said Petr Jirovsky, research manager, Worldwide Networking Trackers. “Most notable has been the continued trade standoffs between the United States and China, along with the unresolved Brexit situation and political unrest in Latin America. These macro-economic and political situations create uncertainty for global businesses, which can in turn lead to pausing or scaling back of investments.”

Key findings form the study:

  • Cisco enterprise WLAN revenue fell 4.9% YoY, but grew 1.9% over Q2. Its market share dropped slightly from 44.9% in Q2 to 44.2% in Q3;
  • HPE-Aruba revenue increased 1.3% YoY and rose 4.6% over Q2. Its market share grew to 14.1% in Q3, up from 14.0% in Q2;
  • Ubiquiti revenue rose 9.4% YoY and 8.6% over Q2, with its market share growing to 7.1% in Q3, up from 6.8% in Q2;
  • Huawei revenue rose 11.2% YoY and 3.7% over Q2, giving it 5.4% market share;
  • CommScope (formerly ARRIS/Ruckus) revenue fell 20.3% YoY and down 6.7% from Q2, resulting in its market share dropping from 8% in Q2 to 5.2% in Q3.