Analyst: Accelerating 802.11ac deployments deflate demand for 802.11n Wi-Fi

802.11ac Wi-Fi CPE shipments to capture 18% of a total 176 million access points sold in 2014, forecasts ABI Research.

Smart city IoT pioneers seen leveraging standards, open source, and AI elements
Smart city IoT pioneers seen leveraging standards, open source, and AI elements

The worldwide Wi-Fi customer premises equipment (CPE) market is expected to grow 11% in 2014. According to ABI Research’s latest market report, Wi-Fi Customer Premise Equipment, total shipments of Wi-Fi access points, routers, and residential gateways are set to surpass 176 million units by the end of 2014. “Growth is expected in all regions, driven by increased broadband penetration and more connected devices in homes,” says Jake Saunders, VP and practice director for ABI.

Since its WLAN market inception in 2013, shipments of 802.11ac standard devices have accelerated, finds the analyst. In the consumer Wi-Fi equipment market, D-Link and Netgear reportedly lead 802.11ac access point shipments. “The combined shipments of the two companies represented more than 20% of worldwide 802.11ac shipments in 1Q 2014," notes Khin Sandi Lynn, industry analyst with ABI. "[We] expect that nearly 32 million 802.11ac access points will be shipped in 2014," she adds.

Rapidly growing Wi-Fi-enabled mobile devices and multimedia applications continue to drive demand for higher performance Wi-Fi equipment. Shipments of Wi-Fi devices with older generation standards such as 802.11a/b/g have dropped significantly over the past few years as they were replaced by 802.11n products. ABI Research expects that accelerating 802.11ac deployments will cause a downward trend in older 802.11n standard devices starting from the end of 2014.

The enterprise Wi-Fi market has also experienced increased deployments of 802.11ac devices, notes ABI. Cisco and Aruba Networks sold the largest numbers of 802.11ac access points in the enterprise Wi-Fi market; a combined total of 0.1 million 802.11ac access points in 1Q 2014. The enterprise class Wi-Fi equipment market is expected to grow to generate revenues of $US8.1 billion by the end of 2019.

Learn more about ABI's Broadband CPE and Wi-Fi market research.

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