Worldwide WLAN Market Reaches Nearly $6.4 Billion in 2011, According to IDC

FRAMINGHAM, Mass., February 23, 2011 – The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments experienced year-over-year market growth of 21.9% for the full year 2011, while staying relatively flat quarter-over-quarter in the fourth quarter of 2011 (4Q11). According to the 4Q11 preliminary results published in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, the enterprise segment paved the way in 4Q11 with an impressive 22.3% year-over-year growth over a strong fourth quarter in 2010.

"Two back-to-back years of nearly 30% growth is a clear testament to the fact that IT managers are embracing enterprise mobility while acceptance for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the enterprise continues to increase," said Rohit Mehra, director, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure at IDC. "The next phase of enterprise mobility will include an increasing number of enterprise and cloud-based apps, motivating IT to reassess their network infrastructure needs, and that bodes well for network equipment vendors targeting some of the core vertical segments of the enterprise."

Results from the IDC Worldwide WLAN Tracker showed strong growth in enterprise WLAN with the market reaching $3.02 billion for the full year 2011, and $829 million for the fourth quarter. With the consumer class WLAN segment also coming in at $832 million for the fourth quarter, the enterprise segment is now just under 50% of the worldwide WLAN market.

From a regional perspective, the enterprise WLAN market grew fastest in the Latin America region with a 86.2% year-over-year increase. However the 32.0% growth in EMEA and the 19.5% increase in the U.S. also reflected market strength in these regions. "Even with the consumer WLAN segment included, the Latin America and EMEA regions were the better performers in the fourth quarter of 2011," said Petr Jirovsky, senior research analyst with IDC's Worldwide Networking Trackers group.

Enterprise WLAN Vendor Highlights

Cisco's 4Q11 enterprise WLAN revenue globally grew 10.9% year over year, and a more moderate 5.0% sequentially, reaching $424 million in the quarter. The North American market accounted for 50.3% of Cisco's worldwide WLAN revenue in 4Q11. Cisco's worldwide market share now stands at 51.2%, up from 49.6% in 3Q11 but down from 56.4% a year ago.

Aruba (excluding its OEM business) increased 43.9% year over year in 4Q11, and now holds 11.6% of the enterprise WLAN market.

HP's 4Q11 enterprise WLAN revenue grew 17.5% year over year, but declined 6.8% sequentially.

MSI (Motorola Solutions) declined a significant 24.3% over the third quarter, but was still up 16.0% year over year in 4Q11.

The IDC's Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker provides total market size and vendors share data in an easy-to-use Excel Pivot Table format. The geographic coverage includes 8 major regions (USA, Canada, Latin America, AP excluding Japan, Japan, Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa) and 52 countries. The WLAN market is further segmented by product class, product type, product, standard, and location. Measurement for the WLAN market is provided in factory revenue, customer revenue, and unit shipments.

For more information about IDC's Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, please contact Kathy Nagamine (

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