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Mixed fortunes for WLAN market

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The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments experienced year-over-year revenue growth of 13,9%, while declining 2,9% quarter over quarter in the seasonally weak first quarter of 2012.

According to the preliminary 1Q12 results published in the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker, the enterprise segment continued on its path of torrid growth with an impressive 27,2% increase over the first quarter of 2011.

“The momentum behind bring your own device (BYOD) in the enterprise continues unabated, and is the single largest factor driving enterprise mobility and WLAN market growth,” says Rohit Mehra, director: Enterprise Communications Infrastructure, at IDC. “Along with the increasing use of WiFi by service providers to offload cellular data traffic, current market drivers in key verticals will ensure the market for enterprise-class WLAN devices and solutions will see continued traction, and that the market is expected to stay vibrant for the foreseeable future.”

From a regional perspective, the enterprise WLAN market grew fastest in the Latin America region with an impressive 73,8% year-over-year increase. Combined with the 34,5% growth seen in North America, the Americas as a whole were a picture of relative and continued market strength. On the other hand, the 19,7% year over year growth in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and the 16,4% increase in Asia/Pacific were below the overall market this quarter.

“The positive results in the enterprise WLAN market over the last several quarters, which includes several established and emerging vendors, indicates that WLAN investments remain high on the priority list of many CIOs,” says Petr Jirovsky, senior research analyst, Worldwide Networking Trackers Group.

Key enterprise WLAN vendor updates include:

* Cisco’s 1Q12 worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue globally 27% year over year, reaching $414-million in the quarter. The North American market accounted for 49,4% of Cisco’s worldwide WLAN revenue in 1Q12. Cisco’s worldwide market share now stands at 52,4%, up from 51% in 4Q11 and on par with 1Q11.

* Aruba (excluding its OEM business) increased a healthy 42,8% year over year in 1Q12, and now holds 11,6% of the enterprise WLAN market.

* HP’s 1Q12 enterprise WLAN revenue grew 10% year over year, below the overall market, and its market share declined from the 6,6% recorded in both 1Q11 and 4Q11 to 5,7% this quarter.

* Ruckus outperformed in 1Q12 with a market leading 183% growth over last year’s first quarter, driven by service provider and enterprise sales.