802.11ac Wi-Fi gear driving strong WLAN equipment sales

WLAN hardware demand remains strong as new technology takes the stage

The first quarter of 2016 has seen a 20% increase in wireless LAN equipment sales compared to the same period a year ago, according to a study released by IHS Technology, which credited the proliferation of 802.11ac wireless gear for the uptick.

While the $1.2 billion in total sales represents a quarter-on-quarter downturn of 14%, that’s merely a seasonal demand issue, said IHS. Yet the year-on-year sales increase has been accomplished with equipment prices remaining relatively flat.

+ ALSO ON NETWORK WORLD: Top 5 storage vendors shows massive shift to the cloud + Resold hard drives on eBay, Craigslist are often still ripe with leftover data

According to senior research director Matthias Machowinski, that’s due in large part to organizational sales being driven downward by a desire for cheaper wireless options. Nevertheless, overall demand remains strong, particularly for hardware based on the 802.11ac standard, which accounted for 70% of all access point revenue.

Cheaper and more commoditized wireless options are keeping those access point revenues relatively flat, even as shipments continue to grow, said IHS. Revenues for independent APs sank 8% on a quarterly basis, and remained the same as Q1 of 2015.

It’s possible that further demand for 802.11ac gear could result from this week’s news that the Wi-Fi Alliance plans to finalize its wave 2 specification for that standard – the latest version of 802.11ac features advanced technology like multi-user MIMO and beamforming, designed to provide better performance in high-density deployments.

Already, 802.11ac Wave 2 gear has begun to make itself felt in the marketplace, according to the IHS study, accounting for more than 5% of all access point sales and eating away at 802.11ac Wave 1’s numbers.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags 802.1Xrouters802.11ac

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Gold

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?