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IDC foresees robust update for 802.11n deployments

In the second quarter of 2010 (2Q10), the International Data Corp. (http://www.idc.com) found year-over-year revenue growth of 26.4%, and more modest 2.4% growth over a strong first quarter, for enterprise wireless local area networks (WLANs). The market enjoyed a strong performance across all regions and key product segments, especially for 802.11n technology.

“The continued strength in the WLAN market in the second quarter was very encouraging with all regions and both the enterprise and retail-class market segments making a contribution,” says Rohit Mehra, director, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure at IDC. “Specifically, growth in 802.11n deployments continues to accelerate in 2010, with 65.9% of all access point revenue being “n” based, up from 56.1% in 1Q10, and up from 45.6% in 2Q09.”

Ratification of the 802.11n standard in September last year continues to boost enterprise WLAN deployments, attracting new and existing customers who were hesitant earlier to move forward with upgrades, extensions, and replacements of their wireless infrastructure. The continued adoption of PoE (Power over Ethernet) and gigabit ethernet on the wired network is also ensuring that the wired and wireless networks are growing in tandem to ensure that enterprises have the best of both worlds.

Surprisingly, IDC says the retail-class WLAN market in 2Q10 bucked the trend from its eight consecutive quarterly declines and saw a 2.3% quarterly increase and 8% year-over-year increase, again largely due to increased traction for 802.11n.

From a vendor perspective, Cisco’s enterprise WLAN market share fell slightly to 54.2%, although all major enterprise WLAN vendors — Cisco, Aruba, Meru, HP, and Motorola – all had double-digit gains from the second quarter of 2009. In the retail class WLAN segment, Cisco’s consumer division, Linksys, rebounded after several quarters of declines with a strong quarter, while Netgear and D-Link maintained their positions to round off the top 3 vendors in that segment.

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