The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments increased 6.7% year over year in the second quarter of 2016 (2Q16), and increased 6.7% on a sequential basis.
According to new data from the IDC research group (www.idc.com), the enterprise segment grew 9.4% year over year in 2Q16, representing its strongest growth in over two years. The sustained growth observed so far in 2016 can be attributed to refresh cycles and the funding of digital transformation initiatives in many enterprises.
The 802.11ac standard has achieved market dominance and now accounts for 59.9% of dependent access point unit shipments and 77.4% of dependent access point revenues, representing a noticeably faster adoption rate from 802.11n than what we saw with the 802.11a/b/g to 802.11n transition several years ago.
Meanwhile, consumer WLAN market revenue saw growth for the first time since 2014, increasing 3.1% on a year-over-year basis in 2Q16. The adoption of the 802.11ac standard in the consumer market has been significantly slower than in the enterprise segment. In 2Q16, the 802.11ac standard accounted for just 22.6% of shipments and 51.3% of revenue in the consumer category.
“Recognizing the critical role that WLAN plays in IT’s mobility and digital initiatives, enterprises are committing to WLAN upgrades and refreshes,” said Nolan Greene, senior research analyst, Network Infrastructure at IDC. “Even as global economic indicators are mixed, IDC believes that enterprises will continue to invest in robust WLAN infrastructure in order to compete effectively in the digital economy.”