The wireless local area network (WLAN) market enjoyed tepid growth in Q4 2015, and was down for the full year, according to the latest figures from IDC.
The combined consumer and enterprise global WLAN market was up 1.4 per cent year over year for Q4 2015. This growth was driven by the enterprise segment which had its best quarter of the year with 5.9 per cent year-over-year growth.
But for the whole of 2015, the market was down by 0.3 per cent.
IDC attributed this fall to a stall in projects owing to the "uncertain short-term trajectory of the global economy", and the market holding out for the complete availability of Wave 2 802.11ac WLAN products.
Nolan Greene, network infrastructure research analyst at IDC, said refresh cycles were key to the small rise in growth in the last quarter of the year.
"While weaker compared with what was seen prior to 2015, the growth experienced in Q4 2015 was higher than that of the previous three quarters," he said. "Expected fourth-quarter refresh cycles were certainly at play here across the world, with organisations preparing for greater digital transformation initiatives in 2016."
Despite overall weak growth, the EMEA region saw a strong end to the year and increased 10.7 per cent year over year in Q4 and 5.1 per cent for the whole year. This was boosted by strong performances in Spain, the United Arab Emirates, and the Netherlands.
The North American market was largely flat for Q4 but the APeJ (Asia-Pacific excluding Japan) region witnessed strong growth.
Petr Jirovsky, worldwide networking trackers research manager, said: "Due to differing market forces on the local levels, regional performance in enterprise WLAN varied significantly in 2015, especially in the fourth quarter. APeJ continues to see good growth for digital initiatives, whereas the EMEA market felt a surge of confidence in Q4 2015."
Cisco continues to dominate the WLAN industry, with a Q4 market share of 45 per cent, a slight decline from a 48.1 per cent share in the same quarter in 2014. IDC attributed this continued position of strength to its Meraki cloud-managed WLAN portfolio, which Cisco acquired in 2012.
Aruba-HPE came in second, with a 15.9 per cent market share in Q4 2015, down from 17.4 per cent in Q3 2015.
This was followed by Ruckus, which had a 6.7 per cent market share for Q4 2015.
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