According to IDC, the combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments grew 2.5% year over year in the second quarter of 2017 (2Q17), finishing at $2.37 billion.
The research group added that the enterprise segment grew 9.4% year over year in 2Q17 to reach $1.48 billion. In the enterprise segment, annualized growth in 2Q17 was comparable to that of 2Q16, when year-over-year growth also registered at 9.4%.
IDC believes that a steady stream of upgrades to the 802.11ac standard as part of the digital transformation (DX) of the enterprise contributed heavily to the 2Q17 growth. The 802.11ac standard now accounts for 84.5% of dependent access point unit shipments and 92.1% of dependent access point revenues, up from 70.9% and 84.7% in 1Q17. This significant sequential jump points to a continued trend of 802.11n obsolescence, which is expected to be nearly complete by the end of 2018.
Meanwhile, consumer WLAN market revenue decreased 7.2% on a year-over-year basis in 2Q17, finishing at $892.3 million. In 2Q17, the 802.11ac standard accounted for just 32.3% of shipments and 62.8% of revenue in the consumer category. 802.11ac was a bright spot in the consumer WLAN segment in 2Q17, with revenues increasing 13.6% year over year and shipments increasing 36.2% over the same period.
“The enterprise WLAN market’s 2Q17 performance sends a strong message that this market is still in growth mode,” said Nolan Greene, senior research analyst, Network Infrastructure at IDC. “WLAN is a critical enabler of end-to-end digital transformation strategies as wireless applications and devices continue to unlock new digital and business outcomes.”