According to a recently published report from Dell’Oro Group, 2023 was a roller coaster ride for wireless LAN (WLAN) vendors.

Revenues were elevated in the first half of the year but contracted sharply in 4Q 2023. Despite the end-of-year correction, annual WLAN revenues hit a record $10-billion.

“In 4Q 2023, enterprises and distributors were awash with WLAN inventory, contributing to a digestion period-a pause in purchasing while the equipment shipped in the past few quarters is deployed,” says Si├ón Morgan, research director at Dell’Oro Group. “All macro regions across the world saw a contraction in WLAN sales.

“We are anticipating that this downturn will continue into 2024. Vendors that generate recurring revenues from existing customers, as opposed to relying solely on sales of new shipments, are expected to fare better during the downturn. Juniper Networks was an outlier in the WLAN market in 4Q, managing to grow Y/Y and Q/Q despite the difficult market conditions. In addition, Huawei had Y/Y growth in WLAN sales across several macro regions of the world,” adds Morgan.

Additional highlights from the 4Q 2023 Wireless LAN Quarterly Report include:

* Average prices fell Y/Y for the first time in over two years-with the notable exception of Controller and License prices, which experienced considerable growth.

* The percentage of 4Q 2023 revenues from the sale of Indoor WiFi 6E APs was flat compared to 3Q 2023. WiFi 7 was the only technology generation that grew on a Q/Q revenue basis.

* All regions experienced a Y/Y reduction in WLAN revenues, with sales to China contracting the least of all the macro regions.

* Revenues from Public Cloud-Managed WLAN contracted Y/Y for a second quarter in a row.