WLAN Market Revenue Drops in 3Q23 Despite Wi-Fi 6E Uptake, Reports IDC

The enterprise sector of the wireless local area network (WLAN) market experienced a 5.2 percent year-over-year decline, reaching $2.5 billion in revenue in the third quarter of 2023, the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker indicated.
Top enterprise WLAN suppliers in Q3 2023 IDC report

Key market players experienced varied performances in 3Q23:

Cisco witnessed a 3.5 percent increase in enterprise WLAN revenues, securing a market share of 43.4 percent.

HPE Aruba Networking reported a 25.7 percent decline, holding a 12.0 percent market share.

Huawei observed a 12.4 percent rise, maintaining a 7.2 percent market share.

Ubiquiti reported a 15.6 percent decline, holding a 6.4 percent market share.

CommScope experienced a 19.1 percent increase, securing a 5.1 percent market share.

Juniper Networks observed an 18.7 percent increase, capturing a 4.5 percent market share.

While recent quarters witnessed significant growth in the WLAN industry due to vendors addressing a backlog of product orders and normalizing supply chain availabilities, the market observed a decline in growth rates in the most recent quarter. Organizations are focusing on implementing previously delivered products, leading to the current declining trend, anticipated to persist in the upcoming quarter.

Concurrently, the adoption of Wi-Fi 6E, an innovative standard expanding Wi-Fi’s reach into the 6 GHz spectrum band, continued its growth trajectory in 3Q23. Wi-Fi 6E revenues surged by 13.0 percent between the second and third quarters, constituting 20.4 percent of dependent access point (AP) revenues and 9.6 percent of unit shipments. Wi-Fi 6 accounted for the majority of remaining dependent AP revenues (74.8 percent) and unit shipments (76.6 percent), with the legacy Wi-Fi 5 standard contributing the rest.

Within the consumer segment, the WLAN market reported a 13.7 percent year-over-year decline in 3Q23. Wi-Fi 6 dominated this segment’s revenues, capturing 57.9 percent, while Wi-Fi 5 still retained a considerable 32.4 percent share. Wi-Fi 6E adoption in the consumer segment remained modest, representing only 6.2 percent of revenues.

Brandon Butler, IDC’s Research Manager for Enterprise Networks, highlighted the industry’s shifting dynamics, citing increased product availability leading to widespread WLAN deployments. He emphasized the significance of WLAN technology despite market fluctuations, crediting advancements like Wi-Fi 6E for propelling market momentum.

Regionally, the enterprise WLAN market exhibited mixed performances globally. Notable fluctuations included market growth in Latin America by 23.5 percent, a 1.2 percent increase in the United States, and a 24.1 percent decline in the People’s Republic of China.

The IDC’s findings shed light on the WLAN market’s nuanced dynamics amidst product availability normalization, emphasizing the continued importance of WLAN technology despite temporary market adjustments.

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