The combined enterprise and consumer wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments rose 6.9% year over year in the third quarter of 2018 (3Q18) with worldwide revenues of $2.7 billion.
According to results published in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, the enterprise segment rose 9.8% year over year in 3Q18 to $1.6 billion. Sustained high demand for wireless access technologies combined with new advanced software management and automation capabilities continue to drive growth in this market.
The 802.11ac standard now accounts for 87.0% of dependent access point unit shipments in the enterprise segment and 94.6% of dependent access point revenues, marking this standard’s full penetration into the market. Beginning early in 2019 the market will begin to shift toward adoption of the new 802.11ax standard, with operators of large public venues and other dense WiFi environments being the earliest adopters.
Meanwhile, the consumer WLAN market rose 2.8% year over year to $1.1 billion. For the first time, 802.11ac shipments accounted for more than half of the market’s volume, rising to 52.5% of units shipped and 75.5% of revenues. The previous-generation 802.11n standard accounted for 47.5% of shipments, but only 24.5% of revenues.
“After annualized growth of less than 2% in each of the first two quarters of 2018, the enterprise WLAN market rebounded in the third quarter with healthy growth,” says Brandon Butler, senior research analyst, Network Infrastructure at IDC. “The market is being driven by continued high demand for wireless access technologies and increased interest in advanced software platforms for controlling WLAN environments. Wireless access technology continues to be relied on for business-critical applications around the globe and the coming 802.11ax standard will help drive growth in this market in 2019 and beyond.”