What is a wireless network?
A WLAN (wireless local area network) uses radio waves to connect devices such as laptops and smartphones to the internet. When an individual or a business connects a laptop to a Wi-Fi (wireless fidelity) hotspot at a café, hotel, or lounge, they are connecting to that business wireless network. By contrast, a wired network connects devices to the Internet or other networks using cables.
WLAN market grows 5.9% YoY in 4Q15
According to market research firm IDC, the combined consumer and enterprise worldwide WLAN market increased by 1.4% YoY (year-over-year) in 4Q15 but fell 0.3% in 2015. The enterprise segment grew by 5.9% YoY in 4Q15 and by 3.7% in 2015.
By comparison, the overall enterprise market grew by over 7% for 2014. IDC has stated that “the current deceleration of the annual growth rate, as compared to previous years, is largely due to the confluence of two factors: a hold on new WLAN projects due to the uncertain short-term trajectory of the global economy and market anticipation of the full availability of Wave 2 802.11ac products.”
Cisco, Hewlett Packard, Ruckus
Cisco Systems’ (CSCO) 4Q15 worldwide enterprise WLAN revenue fell by 0.7% YoY in 4Q15 and rose by 2% in 2015. Cisco’s worldwide market share in 4Q15 stood at 45% in 4Q15, as compared to 48.1% in 4Q14 and 48% in 3Q15.
Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s (HPE) business grew by 5.5% YoY in 4Q15 and by 8.6% in 2015. HPE’s market share stood at 15.9% in 4Q15, which was down from 17.4% in 3Q15. Ruckus Wireless (RKUS), however, outperformed the market and grew by 16% YoY in 4Q15 and by 13.1% in 2015. Ruckus accounted for 6.7% of the market in 4Q15, as compared to 6.1% of the market in 4Q14. Notably, Cisco accounts for 3.7% of the PureFunds ISE Cyber Security ETF (HACK) and 3.2% of the Technology Select Sector SPDR (XLK).
Continue to the next part for a discussion of the most recent wireless network trends.