Enterprise-class 802.11ac devices boost wireless LAN market

3Q 2013 was the first full quarter in which the devices were available; they accounted for 6 percent of the enterprise access points shipped, says Dell’Oro.

According to a recent report from market-research and analyst firm Dell’Oro Group, the combined enterprise and outdoor wireless LAN (WLAN) market grew 10 percent in the third quarter of 2013 compared to 3Q 2012. And enterprise-class 802.11ac technology was a spur to that growth.

Chris DuPuy, vice president of wireless LAN research at Dell’Oro, commented, “A significant driver to the third-quarter results was the fact that it was the first full quarter of 802.11ac shipments for enterprise-class devices. At six percent of enterprise access point market units, this new technology now represents an important part of the future growth of the WLAN market.

“What is interesting about 802.11ac equipment that shipped last quarter was that it was all based on ‘Wave-1’ radios,” DuPuy continued. “We expect even greater interest to develop for 802.11ac once ‘Wave-2’ radios emerge in the next year or two.”

Wave 2 radio systems will include features including multi-user multiple-input/multiple-output (MU-MIMO), which promises to deliver higher data throughput.

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Dell’Oro reports that in the third quarter of 2013, the top three vendors in the combined enterprise-class and outdoor-mesh nodes category were Cisco Systems, Hewlett Packard and Ruckus Wireless. Market newcomer Ubiquiti Networks joined Cisco and Ruckus in gaining the most dollar share compared to the second quarter, Dell’Oro added.

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