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Sales of 802.11ac WLAN Solutions are Poised to Surge

Sales of 802.11ac WLAN Solutions are Poised to Surge

Sales of 802.11ac WLAN Solutions are Poised to SurgeA report from the Dell’Oro Group forecasts surging sales of 802.11ac access points, according to InformationWeek’s Robert Mullins at NetworkComputing:

The research firm expects enterprise WLAN sales revenue to reach $6.7 billion in 2018, 70% more than 2013 sales. The WLAN market as a whole will reach $12.2 billion over the same time period.

The report also states that cloud-managed WLAN systems will make up a big part of that growth. What’s driving the growth? Dell’Oro asserts it has to do with price increases over 802.11n… or the lack of it. Whereas the price of 802.11n doubled that of 802.11a/g, “there’s very little, if any, price premium” of 802.11ac over N, according to Chris DePuy, Vice President and Analyst at Dell’Oro.

Now, what DePuy says is somewhat contradicted by Campbell Simpson at Gizmodo, who claims a 20% increase in price for 802.11ac over N. I guess the definition of “very little” could be the issue here. Nevertheless, a 20% increase in price is definitely a lot smaller than a 100% increase in price.

Dell’Oro explains the smaller price increase as a purposeful strategy by Wireless Network Solutions providers to spur sales of the new standard. The company believes that the effort is succeeding, as 23% of WLAN sales in 2014 will be 802.11ac devices, whereas in the same part of the sales cycle, 802.11n only got 11% when it first came out.

The forecaster also came out with who are the top selling vendors of WLAN solutions in the first quarter of this year. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Cisco came out on top, with a 50.2% share of the market (which is approaching monopoly territory if you ask me), while Aruba Networks at 12.2% and Ruckus Wireless at 6.9% represent the second and third places.

I find Dell’Oro’s analysis here a little simplistic. While price is certainly a factor, it’s not the only factor driving business decision-making. Matters like business need and user demand also come into play. Dell’Oro also seems to have ignored future proofing as a potential driver of 802.11ac WLAN adoption. Focusing on cost alone while ignoring how these other drivers come into play sheds less light than one would hope on such an important market.

For Robert Mullins’ piece at InformationWeek’s NetworkComputing, click here.

For the report from Dell’Oro, click here.

wireless guide coverFor information on the top 802.11ac solutions, check out our latest Buyer’s Guide:

  • Easy, side-by-side comparison of the top 802.11ac wireless vendors
  • Descriptions of each solution and their strengths
  • Important questions to ask yourself and potential vendors when considering a solution
  • Market overview of the current 802.11ac wireless space
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