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Enterprise WLAN Market Shrunk In Q1, Report Claims

Cisco System's acquisition of Airespace led to uncertainty in the marketplace that, in turn, led to a decline in total sales of enterprise-grade wireless LAN equipment in the first quarter of the year, according to a study released Tuesday by Dell'Oro Group. The research firm said it was the second quarter of decline in a row.

Overall sales of enterprise WLAN equipment declined by six percent to $192 million for the quarter. The market for SOHO WLAN equipment registered only three percent growth for the quarter, according to the study.

"Product and strategic transition issues among vendors caused the enterprise WLAN market to decline for the second consecutive quarter," Greg Collins, Dell'Oro's senior director of wireless LAN research, said in a statement. "With Cisco announcing the acquisition of Airespace in early January and completing the acquisition in late March, their customer base likely delayed some purchases."

In addition, Collins noted that Nortel and Alcatel, no longer able to use equipment from Airespace, had to transition to equipment provided by other vendors, most notably Trapeze Networks and Aruba Networks.

"The consolidation and partnership transitions likely created uncertainty and hence purchase delay among enterprise buyers," Collins said.