Wi-Fi market revenues to reach $12 billion in 2017, says Dell'Oro

BYOD fueling Wi-Fi equipment growth, but also taxing older Wi-Fi networks

Wi-Fi market revenues are forecast to approach $12 billion in 2017, a 57 percent increase over 2012 revenues, according to the latest research from the Dell'Oro Group.

Driving this growth are the deployment of service provider Wi-Fi, the upgrade to the 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard,cloud-managed Wi-Fi, consumer adoption of video over Wi-Fi and the BYOD trend, noted the research firm.

"Enterprises now see wireless LAN [generic term for Wi-Fi] access as critical, yet historically have installed wireless as an overlay network that is separate from the Ethernet network," said Chris DePuy, vice president at Dell'Oro Group. 

"As new, higher-speed 802.11ac wireless systems are installed, we expect a growing number of companies will be re-considering the interaction between Ethernet edge switches and enterprise WLAN devices. This provides both opportunity and risk for enterprise edge vendors," he added.

According to a Dell'Oro report released last month, the enterprise edge market increased 6 percent in the first quarter of 2013, reaching $3.3 billion. The enterprise edge market includes enterprise Wi-Fi and campus Ethernet switching equipment related software.

While BYOD has been fueling the growth of Wi-Fi deployment, it has also been taxing older Wi-Fi networks. With the advent of enterprise mobility and BYOD, Wi-Fi is becoming the primary network in many companies.

But with less than 5 percent of the capacity of wired networks in some cases, Wi-Fi networks are struggling to provide service to enterprise users, FierceMobileIT observed in a feature article earlier this year.

One approach enterprises are taking to address the issue is to invest in newer Wi-Fi equipment. More bandwidth is now available with the high-speed 802.11ac standard, which provides three to five times more throughput out of the Wi-Fi access points. The new standard improves network robustness, reliability and RF bandwidth utilization efficiency.

For more:
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