IDC’s Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker Shows Continued Growth in First Quarter with Revenues Reaching $1.35 Billion 

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., June 2, 2011 – In the first quarter of 2011 (1Q11), the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wireless LAN Tracker found year-over-year revenue growth of 20.7% to reach $1.35 billion (excluding WLAN NICs), while sequentially, total WLAN revenue was down 5.5% over the seasonally strong fourth quarter (4Q10). The enterprise WLAN market also showed continued strength although growth moderated a bit with a 20.3% year-over-year revenue increase, while sequentially the market declined by 8.8%.

"The continued strength in the WLAN market in the first quarter of 2011 was encouraging with all regions and both the enterprise and retail-class market segments making a contribution," said Rohit Mehra, Director, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure, at IDC. "The tremendous momentum behind smart mobile devices and their continued uptake in the enterprise for business applications are driving enterprises to move forward with upgrades, extensions, and replacements of their wireless infrastructures."

Specifically, 802.11n deployments are now the defacto standard with 77.4% of all enterprise-grade shipments. Some large enterprises and regions such as Asia/Pacific and Latin America still have pockets where legacy protocols are still being deployed, although IDC expects the migration towards "n" technology to get stronger in 2011.

The retail-class WLAN market continues to stabilize from previous quarterly declines, and grew a strong 21% year over year to reach $751 million in 1Q11. Sequentially, the retail-class segment declined 2.8%, but that was after a seasonally strong 4Q10. Dropping prices and increased consumer interest in networked home entertainment applications will continue to support this segment going forward.

Vendor Highlights

Cisco's enterprise WLAN revenue grew 20.7% year-over-year but declined 14.4% after a strong 4Q10. Cisco's Linksys consumer division lagged the market with WLAN revenue growing 7.2% year-over-year, and was down 5.9% quarter-over-quarter.

Aruba had a strong 1Q11 with 85.9% revenue growth year-over-year, including OEM revenues.

HP 1Q11 WLAN revenue grew less than the enterprise WLAN market at 14.4% year-over-year and declined 14.0% sequentially over the previous quarter.

The IDC Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker service delivers a WLAN market pivot table nine weeks after the close of the calendar quarter. The WLAN coverage includes manufacturer revenue and unit shipments by vendor, market, form factor, product, standard, region, and average pricing.