The enterprise segment of the worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market saw revenues grow 7,6% year over year in 2023 to $10,8-billion, according to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Wireless LAN Tracker.

However, in the fourth quarter of 2023 (4Q23) the enterprise market declined 25.5% year over year as customers implemented a record amount of product inventory.

2023 was a year of two halves in the enterprise WLAN market: In the first half of the year (1H23), enterprise WLAN revenues rose 43,3% compared to the first half of 2022, driven by vendors shipping backlogged products. In the second half of the year, revenues declined 16,6% compared to the same period a year earlier. New product orders slowed in the second half as customers implemented heightened product inventory.

Meanwhile, adoption of WiFi 6E, which expands WiFi’s use to include the 6GHz band of spectrum, continued to grow in 4Q23. Within the enterprise dependent access point (AP) segment, WiFi 6E revenues grew 11,7% between the third and fourth quarters of 2023 to make up 22,6% of dependent AP quarterly revenues and 10% of unit shipments. WiFi 6 made up most of the remaining dependent AP revenues (72,8%) and unit shipments (77,5%), with the legacy WiFi 5 standard making up the balance.

The consumer segment of the WLAN market declined 12,8% year over year for the full year in 2023 and declined 14,5% in 4Q23. By standard, WiFi 6 made up 64,1% of the consumer market’s revenues, while WiFi 5 made up just over a quarter (26,5%) of revenues. WiFi 6E adoption remains nascent in the consumer segment, making up just 6,7% of revenues in 4Q23.

“2023 was a dynamic year in the enterprise WLAN market, driven by myriad factors including the effects of the supply chain disruptions, product backlogs, and the shipping of product inventory, combined with a fragile macroeconomic environment,” says Brandon Butler, research manager: Enterprise Networks. “Nonetheless, WLAN remains a critically important technology for organizations across the globe as they build out a future connectedness strategy.”

The enterprise WLAN market had mixed results across the globe. In the US, the market increased 20,6% year over year for 2023, but declined 25,9% in 4Q23. In Canada the market rose 14,5% for the full year but fell 32,3% in the fourth quarter.

In the People’s Republic of China, the market declined 17,5% for the full year and was off 18.0% in 4Q23. In the broader Asia/Pacific region (excluding Japan & China), the market declined 16,9% in the quarter, but rose 6,2% for the full year.

In Europe, the Middle East & Africa (EMEA), the market was off 32,1% in the quarter, but rose 1,6% for the full year. In Latin America, the market was off 15,1% in 4Q23, but rose 25,1% for the full year.

Cisco’s enterprise WLAN revenues declined 40,3% year over year in 4Q23, but rose 11,2% for the full year to $4,6-billion. The company’s market share stood at 42,6% for the full year.

HPE Aruba Networking revenues declined 21,6% year over year in 4Q23 and rose 7% for the full year, giving the company market share of 14,6% for 2023.

Huawei enterprise WLAN revenues declined 0,4% in 4Q23, but rose 13.8% for the full year, giving the company market share of 8.0% for calendar year 2023.

Ubiquiti enterprise WLAN revenues declined 11,3% in 4Q23 and declined 2,6% for the full year, giving the company market share of 6,1% in 2023.

CommScope enterprise WLAN revenues declined 33,1% in 4Q23, but rose 23,3% for the full year, giving the company market share of 4,4% in 2023.

Juniper Networks enterprise WLAN revenues increased 13,2% year over year in 4Q23 and rose 26,6% for the full year, giving the company market was of 4,1% for the full year.