The wireless LAN (WLAN) market enjoyed a bumper start to 2011, with both the B2B and retail segments posting annual sales growth of more than 20 per cent.
Research from IDC found that global wireless revenue in Q1 was up 20.7 per cent year on year to $1.35bn (£824m). Retail sales spiked 21 per cent to $751m, while the enterprise market grew 20.3 per cent.
Sales of 802.11n technology remain strong. Some 18 months after the n standard was ratified, the technology now accounts for more than three quarters of all B2B shipments.
On the vendor front, Cisco enjoyed enterprise WLAN sales growth marginally above market levels, but its consumer Linksys brand posted a muted 7.2 per cent growth rate.
It was a similar story for HP, whose Q1 WLAN revenue grew at 14.4 per cent annually, more than six points behind the market rate. Aruba, on the other hand, enjoyed a stonking quarter, with sales – including OEM revenue – growing a massive 85.9 per cent year on year.
Rohit Mehra, director of enterprise communications infrastructure at IDC, said: "The continued strength in the WLAN market in the first quarter of 2011 was encouraging, with all regions and both the enterprise- and retail-class market segments making a contribution. The tremendous momentum behind smart mobile devices and their continued uptake in the enterprise for business applications are driving enterprises to move forward with upgrades, extensions and replacements of their wireless infrastructures."
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