Wireless LAN Investment to Top $5 Billion in 2014

Wireless LAN Investment to Top 5 Billion in 2014Independent analyst firm Canalys is out with a new report indicating that wireless LAN investment is one pace to exceed $5 billion in 2014.

This anticipate development is fueled by the move from 802.11n (11n) to 802.11ac (11ac) “kick-starting a new refresh cycle.”

The launch of the Wi-Fi Alliance certification program in June initiated the adoption of 11ac technology. Over 200 products have been certified, including smart phones, notebooks and access points.

“This has given organizations confidence to deploy 11ac networks with the reassurance of multi-vendor compatibility,” the firm said in its report Friday, which was shared with MMW. “But the ratification of the standard is unlikely until the first quarter of 2014. Nonetheless, vendors such as Aruba Networks, Cisco and Meru Networks have accelerated the roll-out of their first-generation enterprise-grade 11ac access points to capitalize on growing interest from early adopters.”

For example, market leader Cisco increased its share of wireless LAN shipments to 59% in Q3.

“Gaining first-mover advantage in the move from 11n to 11ac is important given the opportunity to replace wired networks in campus and office environments due to higher throughput performance,” says Matthew Ball, Principal Analyst at Canalys. “11ac notebooks have been on the market for more than a year, but it is the arrival of 11ac smart phones, including the HTC One and Samsung Galaxy 4S, and upcoming tablets that are piquing interest, especially in the education sector.”

“These devices,” he continues, “will increasingly proliferate in workplaces and public areas, with more people wanting to use more bandwidth-hungry applications.”