"Sales data for 2011 enterprise networking equipment are in, and the results are very clear: Enterprises are racing to upgrade their infrastructure to support the wave of wireless devices hitting their networks," says Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst/Enterprise Networks and Video at Infonetics Research.
He continues, "While the bulk of expenditures still goes toward wired Ethernet switches, and will for some time to come, the growth is coming from wireless networking gear, up 24 percent in 2011, compared to flat sales for Ethernet switches. And with wireless taking up an ever-larger share of the expenditure pie, vendors must have a well-developed wireless strategy to address the evolving requirements of their customers."
According to the research firm:
>> The global wireless LAN (WLAN) equipment market hit an all-time quarterly high of $893 million in 4Q11, up 1 percent compared with the previous high of $880 million set in 3Q11.
>> Sales of WLAN equipment have been on a strong double-digit, year-over-year growth trajectory for nine consecutive quarters;
>> 2011 demand for WLAN equipment sales was well-balanced across the major world regions, all posting 20-percent+ annual growth.
>> Access point (AP) shipments grew stronger than revenue in 2011, jumping 32 percent and crossing the 7-million-unit mark.
>> 802.11n APs now make up about 75 percent of all AP sales.?
>> Due mainly to declining prices, the fast-track growth rate of the WLAN market is expected to slow, but it will pick back up in 2015 with the adoption of 802.11ac technology.?
>> Market leader Cisco saw significant competitive pressure across its product portfolio in 2011, and the WLAN market was no exception, though it easily maintained its near-50-percent lead.
>> WLAN specialist Aruba strengthened its Number Two position in 2011, while HP and Motorola continue to battle it out for the Number Three spot.?