wireless lanThe global wireless local area network (WLAN) grew 11.5% year over year in 4Q 2013, according to the latest from the IDC Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker.

Having been growing at 20%-plus rates over recent quarters, growth in the enterprise segment of the WLAN segment began to moderate, though still increased 11.7% year over year. Growth in the consumer segment of the market picked up, rising 11.2% year over year in 4Q 2013. IDC attributed the acceleration to stronger emerging markets demand and the transition from 802.11n to the newer, faster 802.11ac standard.

For the full year, the enterprise WLAN segment grew 15% and the consumer WLAN segment 11% in 2013, according to IDC.

“Across all geographies and in most of the key verticals, the expansion of mobility applications for enterprise IT continues to drive new investments in WLAN infrastructure,” IDC vice president, Network Infrastructure Rohit Mehra was quoted in a press release.

“While the growth rate has stabilized in recent quarters, new mobility applications, particularly for the education, retail, and healthcare verticals, along with expanded deployment options and the continued emergence of 802.11ac will lead to continued growth in the enterprise WLAN market.”

Enterprise WLAN market growth was especially strong in Latin America, increasing 37.2% year over year in 4Q. Growth in the Asia-Pacific region came in at 22.7%, while the WLAN market grew 20.1% in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Growth in North America was negligible, in contrast, rising just 0.7%.

“Although revenues were flat in many mature economies in the fourth quarter, growth in enterprise WLAN deployments will remain strong in emerging markets and will regain momentum in developed markets in 2014,” commented Petr Jirovsky, Research Manager, Worldwide Networking Trackers.

Other key takeaways include:

  • Cisco’s 4Q13 worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue grew 6.1% year over year and declined -2.5% on a sequential basis over the particularly strong 3Q13. Cisco was particularly impacted by the relative weakness in North America where revenue was down -11.4% quarter over quarter and -0.7% year over year. Cisco’s worldwide market share stands at 48.4% in 4Q13, down from 52.2% in 3Q13 and 51.0% in 4Q12. Still, Cisco’s full year 2013 results were solid as it grew 15.1% year over year, marginally exceeding the 15.0% year-over-year growth of the total market.
  • Aruba (excluding its OEM business) rebounded from a weaker 3Q13 quarter and grew 7.9% sequentially, which was good for a 3.5% year-over-year increase in 4Q13. Aruba’s full year 2013 annual growth reached 5.1% and its market share now stands at 9.8% of the enterprise WLAN market, up from the 9.5% in 3Q13.
  • Ruckus grew a solid 20.8% year over year in 4Q13 and now accounts for 5.7% of the overall market.
  • HP 4Q13 revenue increased 18.1% year over year but declined -2.4% sequentially. HP’s full year 2013 enterprise WLAN growth was 13.1%.


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