Wireless LAN equipment continues to be one of the networking segment's most reliable moneymakers, and at least one industry analyst now has it pegged as a $1 billion-per-quarter business.
Wireless LAN equipment and enterprise-grade Wi-Fi phones accounted for more than $1 billion in revenue for the third quarter of 2012, according to a market analysis from Infonetics Research. After a 16 percent jump from the first quarter to the second, the segment again grew from the second to the third, at a 6 percent clip.
"The usual demand drivers -- wireless devices, BYOD, mobility -- were in play, but there was also an acceleration of carrier Wi-Fi deployments, with sales of outdoor access points doubling over the past year," Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics, said in a research note.
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According to Infonetics, global demand for wireless LAN gear is expanding, with three major regions -- North America, EMEA and Asia Pacific -- growing 20 percent year-over-year. The transition to 802.11n wireless is on its way to completion, with 84 percent of access points (AP) now n-based, the researcher said.
Infonetics, like most wireless LAN market observers, sees the ramp-up for 802.11ac-based wireless products beginning in the summer of 2013.
Cisco remains the market share leader for WLAN equipment, Infonetics noted, but other companies are coming on strong. They include newly-public Ruckus Wireless, which Infonetics has growing 78 percent year-over-year and moving into the No. 4 market share spot.
Ruckus' November IPO was one of the headline stories in an exceptionally busy year for wireless. Along with overall WLAN growth and companies anticipating the shift toward 802.11ac, Cisco acquired Meraki, established players like Aruba Networks strengthened their channel programs and disruptive startups like Aerohive moved further into the spotlight.
PUBLISHED DEC. 14, 2012