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WLAN growth slow but market is dynamic

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The overall enterprise and consumer wireless local area network (WLAN) market in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) decreased 12,6% in value and 20,3% in volume quarter on quarter in Q1 2015.

Year on year it grew in value by 2,9%, with almost no change in volume. Growth in four rolling quarters starting in Q2 2014 exceeded 8%, confirming that the WLAN market is dynamic and represents good potential for vendors.

According to the results published in the IDC EMEA Quarterly Wireless LAN Tracker, the enterprise WLAN market grew 11,3% year-on-year. WLAN spending in the consumer market decreased nearly 4% year-on-year, in spite of 4,1% overall growth in the four rolling quarters mentioned above.

Sales of 802.11ac-compliant access points contributed 46,3% to enterprise AP market value in Q1 2015, showing rapid proliferation of 802.11ac-compliant devices in the enterprise segment, underpinning the demand for high throughput speeds and mobility in general. In the consumer segment, sales of 802.11ac-compliant devices contributed 23.7% to overall market value.

Controller revenues decreased 7,3% year-on-year, reflecting increasing demand for controller-less, often cloud-based architectures.

“The quarter-on-quarter decrease in shipments and revenues can be attributed to market seasonality, the first quarter of the year generally being the weakest,” says Elena Szolgayova, a senior research analyst at IDC. “However, revenues are expected to grow in upcoming quarters, boosted by demand for 802.11ac devices.”

The Middle East and Africa (MEA) was the fastest-growing sub-region, with 18,4% year-on-year enterprise WLAN revenue growth.

MEA enterprise revenues decreased less than 1% compared to Q4 2014. Demand for mobility was driven especially by the hospitality industry.

The total enterprise WLAN market in Western Europe recorded 10,6% year-on-year value growth but 6,8% quarter-on-quarter value decrease.

The enterprise WLAN market in Central and Eastern European dropped 17,8% quarter on quarter in value but grew 6,1% year-on-year, with the volatile situation in Russia a direct influence.

Cisco remained the market leader in volume and value terms, with market share increasing 2,1 percentage points to 50% compared to Q4 2014.

Cisco’s WLAN EMEA revenue grew 9,7% year-on-year, down 3% compared to Q4 2014.

Aruba’s revenue grew 28% year-on-year, thus maintaining a stable market share of approximately 8%.

Ruckus’ revenues grew 7,3% year-on-year; it was one of the few vendors to register positive growth compared to Q4 2014.