Cisco's worldwide enterprise WLAN market share continues to hold, driven by increased demand for cloud-based Meraki solutions.
Echoing first quarter figures, WLAN revenue increased 3.3 per cent year-over-year during the second quarter, rising 12.5 per cent sequentially between the first and second quarters of 2018.
According to IDC findings, Cisco's worldwide market share was 43.6 per cent in 2Q18, in line with the vendor’s 43.3 per cent share in 2Q17.
Such market share is largely because the Meraki cloud-managed WLAN portfolio remains one of the primary growth drivers for the tech giant.
“The enterprise WLAN market continues to see moderate, steady growth, underscoring the importance of wireless networking for businesses of all sizes around the world," said Brandon Butler, senior research analyst of network infrastructure at IDC.
“Enterprises continue to explore new ways WLAN deployments can help connect workers, enable engagement with customers, and improve business processes.”
Further down the list, Aruba and Hewlett Packard Enterprise (excluding its OEM business) revenues fell 10.3 per cent year-over-year in 2Q18 but rose 38.9 per cent from 1Q18 - the vendor's market share stands at 15.1 per cent in 2Q18, down from 17.2 per cent in 2Q17.
Meanwhile, ARRIS/Ruckus continued to perform "very well" in 2Q18 and grew 19.3 per cent year-over-year and 1.5 per cent sequentially.
As outlined via IDC research, ARRIS/Ruckus now accounts for 6.7 per cent of the enterprise WLAN market, up from 5.8 per cent in the same quarter of 2017.
In addition, Ubiquiti recorded another quarter of strong growth in 2Q18, increasing 10.8 per cent year-over-year, accounting for 5.7 per cent of the enterprise market in 2Q18, up from 5.3 per cent in 2Q17.
Rounding off the top five, Huawei once again experienced "very strong growth" in 2Q18, increasing 16.0 per cent over 2Q17 and up 42.8 per cent sequentially from 1Q18, while claiming 5.1 per cent market share versus its 4.5 per cent market share in 2Q17.
Collectively, the combined consumer and enterprise WLAN market segments rose 1.9 per cent year-over-year in the second quarter with worldwide revenues of US$2.5 billion.
According to IDC, the enterprise segment grew 2.6 per cent year-over-year in 2Q18 to US$1.5 billion.
“Continued demand for network refreshes, digital transformation (DX) initiatives, and increased reliance on wireless networks for engaging with customers are positive indicators for continued growth in the second half of 2018,” Butler explained.
Butler said the 802.11ac standard now accounts for 85.2 per cent of dependent access point unit shipments in the enterprise segment and 94.5 per cent of dependent access point revenues, marking this standard's full penetration into the market.
"Beginning late in 2018 and early in 2019 the market will begin to shift toward adoption of the new 802.11ax standard," Butler explained.
Meanwhile, consumer WLAN market revenue increased slightly, up 0.8 per cent in 2Q18 compared to a year earlier, finishing at US$1 billion.
In 2Q18, the 802.11ac standard accounted for 49.4 per cent of shipments and 73.9 per cent of revenue.
“802.11ac remained a bright spot in the consumer WLAN segment in 2Q18 with revenues increasing 13.1 per cent year over year and shipments increasing 32.8 per cent,” Butler added.
From a geographic perspective, the Asia Pacific (excluding Japan) (APeJ) region grew 3.8 per cent year over year in 2Q18.
Standouts in the region included China, the largest market in APeJ, which grew 19.7 per cent, and India, which increased revenues 17.9 per cent year over year.
“While WLAN is a fairly mature market in the U.S., many regions around the world are expected to increase their investing in wireless technology, which will help fuel growth in the broader worldwide market throughout the coming year," added Petr Jirovsky, research manager of networking at IDC.
“Meanwhile, the coming introduction of 802.11ax will lead to a new wave of refresh cycles for enterprises, providing an expected boost to the market starting later this year or early next year.”