Growth in wireless deployments is set to continue in 2014 on the back of an increased enterprise mobility spend, according to IDC analysts.
IDC's Asia/Pacific Quarterly Wireless LAN (WLAN) Tracker Q3 2013 shows a fourth consecutive quarter of overall WLAN hardware growth in Australia.
While still rising, yearly growth for the entire market slowed considerably, from 41 per cent in the second quarter of 2013 to 26 per cent in the third.
Enterprise deployments kept growing on the back of proliferation of mobile devices.
Bring Your Own Device and the more recent trend to Choose Your Own Device continued to drive the enterprise market.
Research indicates that 80 per cent of all tablets currently being used in Australia are Wi-Fi only devices.
Further, more than 7.5 million people used their mobile phones to connect to the internet in 2013.
The IDC Asia/Pacific Enterprise Mobility Maturity Model also revealed that close to three-quarters of Australian companies are planning to increase their mobility spend in 2014.
According to IDC analysts, these statistics indicate good growth potential for the enterprise WLAN market.
Fewer consumer routers were sold in the third quarter last year and vendors attribute this dip in the market to a seasonal slowing in the retail sector.
Service Provider (SP) WLAN deployments remained negligible as telcos maintained an aversion for use of wireless access points to supplement their 3/4G infrastructure.
Vendors are pushing to have a similar SP Wi-Fi adoption rate as that of New Zealand.
While their efforts will need time to take effect, IDC sees good potential for WLAN deployments in the Australian SP landscape.
Greater traction is being seen in public facing Wi-Fi, such as with stadiums and city councils. These areas are tipped to drive significant growth moving forward.
Government, retail and mining remain the dominant sectors deploying WLAN equipment.
Cisco continued to dominate the enterprise market, accounting for more than 55 per cent of local WLAN deployments.
“While the current market statistics are heavily skewed against the challengers, the arrival of 802.11ac represents an opportunity for Aruba, HP, Xirrus, Ruckus, Motorola and Aerohive to change the status quo through more competitive products and more deliberate customer engagement," said Tafadzwa Marasha, Networking Analyst at IDC Australia.
IDC has started seeing more public facing Wi-Fi installations aiming to provide widespread connectivity for customers and monetization opportunities for network suppliers.
An emerging challenge for suppliers is simplifying access to their networks to provide a more ubiquitous experience for customers.
This presents an opportunity for technologies like Passpoint/Hotspot 2.0 to take centre stage and alleviate access issues locally and beyond country borders.
While this is not something that has gained momentum locally, IDC sees a good case for the use of Passpoint to serve network operator and customer interests alike.