The worldwide Wi-Fi customer premises equipment (CPE) market is expected to grow 11% in 2014, according to ABI Research (www.abiresearch.com). The research group says total shipments of Wi-Fi access points, routers, and residential gateways are set to surpass 176 million units by the end of 2014.
“Growth is expected in all regions, driven by increased broadband penetration and more connected devices in homes,” says Jake Saunders, vice president and practice director, ABI Research.
Since its WLAN market inception in 2013, shipments of the 802.11ac standard have accelerated. In the consumer Wi-Fi equipment market, D-Link and NETGEAR lead 802.11ac access point shipments.
“The combined shipments of the two companies represented more than 20% of worldwide 802.11ac shipments in 1Q 2014. ABI Research expects that nearly 32 million 802.11ac access points will be shipped in 2014,” adds Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst.
Shipments of Wi-Fi devices with older generation standards such as 802.11a/b/g have dropped significantly over the past few years as they were replaced by 802.11n products. Rapidly growing Wi-Fi enabled mobile devices and multimedia applications continue to drive demand for higher performance Wi-Fi equipment.
ABI Research expects that accelerating 802.11ac deployments will cause a downward trend in older 802.11n standard devices starting from the end of 2014.
The enterprise Wi-Fi market has also experienced increased deployments of 802.11ac devices.
Cisco and Aruba Networks sold the largest numbers of 802.11ac access points in the enterprise Wi-Fi market; a combined total of 0.1 million 802.11ac access points in the first quarter of 2014. The enterprise class Wi-Fi equipment market is expected to grow to generate revenues of US$8.1 billion by the end of 2019.