The enterprise segment of the worldwide wireless local area network (WLAN) market continued its strong growth in the first quarter of 2022 (1Q22) with revenues increasing 17.1% year over year to $1.95 billion, according to results published by the International Data Corporation (IDC).
The 17.1% annualized growth builds on the enterprise WLAN market growing 20.4% in 2021 compared to 2020. Growth in the enterprise WLAN market continues to be driven by the latest Wi-Fi standard, known as Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax. Wi-Fi 6 access points made up 70.3% of the revenues in the Dependent Access Point (AP) segment and accounted for 59.3% of unit shipments within the segment. Wi-Fi 5 products, also known as 802.11ac, made up the remaining balance of Dependent AP sales.
The consumer segment of the WLAN market declined 3.6% in 1Q22 with the quarter's unit shipments declining 2.2% on an annualized basis. Adoption of Wi-Fi 6 continues in the consumer segment of the WLAN market too: In 1Q22, Wi-Fi 6 made up 31.4% of the market’s revenues, up from 28.2% in the fourth quarter of 2021.
"In the first quarter of 2022, enterprises around the globe continued to invest in WLAN technology as a key component of their network and digital transformations. Meanwhile, the Wi-Fi 6 standard continues to be a significant driver of growth in the enterprise WLAN market as enterprises deploy in the newest Wi-Fi technology," said Brandon Butler, Research Manager, Network Infrastructure at IDC. "After a rocky macroeconomic environment over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the enterprise WLAN market continues to be resilient as organizations invest in wireless connectivity."
From a geographic perspective, the enterprise WLAN market grew across most regions of the world. Growth was particularly strong in Asia/Pacific, where the market in the People's Republic of China grew 55.6% year over year in 1Q22. In the broader Asia/Pacific region (excluding Japan and China) (APeJC), the market increased 22.3% in the first quarter; Japan's market declined 4.8% in 1Q22.
The enterprise WLAN market in the US rose 8.8% year over year in 1Q22. Canada's market declined 2.5%, while the market in Latin America rose 27.6% in the quarter. In Western Europe the market grew 20.6% in 1Q22; in Central and Eastern Europe the market grew 2.1% in the quarter and in the Middle East & Africa, the enterprise WLAN market rose 19.5% year over year. At the country level, Germany was the largest market in Western Europe, making up 21.2% of the region's revenues. In Germany, the market grew 37.6% year over year in the first quarter, propelling growth for the broader Western European region.