FRAMINGHAM, USA: Despite a crushing global economic recession in 2009, the worldwide enterprise-class wireless LAN (WLAN) market suffered relatively small market declines and is now poised for a strong rebound in 2010.
According to new research by International Data Corporation (IDC), the WLAN market will gain momentum throughout the year, growing 23 percent from $1.7 billion in 2009 to a robust $2.1 billion in 2010.
Enterprises continue to embrace wireless to increase efficiency and user productivity. "Unlike other markets that were ravaged by the recession, economic uncertainty and the structural causes of the downturn did not change the fundamental drivers for the growth of wireless in the enterprise," said Rohit Mehra, director, Enterprise Communications Infrastructure. "New applications, new devices, and new verticals are all contributing to the organic growth of Wi-Fi across all regions."
The proliferation of wireless devices on the network increases both the importance and pervasiveness of the enterprise wireless network. "More and more customers are demanding resilient, intelligent, scalable, and adaptive wireless network infrastructures. They are gearing up for widespread deployments across the board -- not just in the carpeted areas of enterprise and in the education market segment, but in widespread applications across major verticals," Mehra said. Recovery from short-term softness in retail, manufacturing, and services verticals, combined with the continued strength in education, healthcare, and government, will help drive WLAN growth in 2010.
Additional findings from IDC's research include the following:
* WLAN connectivity is shifting from "nice-to-have" to "essential-to-have" within the enterprise.
* Growth in 802.11n deployments is accelerating in 2010, with 57.5 percent of all dependent access points (APs) being "n" based.
* With the uncertainties around 802.11n and Power over Ethernet behind us, the momentum continues to build for network managers to move forward with network expansions, upgrades and green field rollouts.
* WLANs will begin to dampen demand for ethernet switch ports in 2010.
* The channel for WLANs continues to be increasingly important as the market goes global, especially given the variances in the technical competencies across the regions.