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HP Continues To Nip At Cisco's Heels In Q2 Enterprise WLAN Sales

The enterprise accounted for almost half of the very robust wireless LAN revenues in the second quarter, according to two new reports. Dell'Oro Group (Wireless LAN Quarterly Report) put the market growth at 24%, driven in large part by the enterprise segment, which surged 40%. IDC (Worldwide Quarterly Wireless LAN Tracker) reported year-over-year revenue growth of 29.7% for the overall market, reaching $1.52 billion, and up 13.4% from the first quarter. Enterprise spending grew 43.4% year over year to nearly $725 million, and 21.9% quarter on quarter.

Large wins registering in the tens of millions of dollars for single customers fueled huge growth by Motorola Solutions (more than 100%) and Alcatel-Lucent (more than 80%), says Dell’Oro. The company attributes the largest sequential growth in shipments in the enterprise WLAN market since 2004 in part to the growing importance in the "carpeted enterprise" of the iPad and bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomena. It says these same devices are also driving demand in small office/home office environments, benefiting vendors such as Netgear, Cisco and DLink, ranked No. 1, No. 2 and No. 3 by revenue share in this segment.

IDC's Rohit Mehra, director, enterprise communications infrastructure, states the tremendous momentum behind smart mobile devices and their continued uptake in the enterprise for business and vertical-specific applications is driving enterprises to move forward with upgrades and extensions of their wireless networks. During the quarter, 802.11n deployments accounted for 79.1% of revenues and 66.6% of unit shipments in the enterprise market.

While Cisco's enterprise WLAN revenue grew 36.2% year over year and 11.9% quarter on quarter, IDC said its share fell to just over 50%. It did much worse in the retail segment that grew 19.4% year over year, with its Linksys unit showing a year-over-year decline of 21.4%.

HP, Cisco's new BFF (best foe forever?), significantly out-performed the networking giant, growing its enterprise WLAN revenue 65.8% year over year and 35.9% quarter on quarter, albeit on a much smaller base. Aruba saw 52.2% growth, while Motorola came in with 52.7% year over year and 112.8% sequentially. It was a good quarter for Cisco, says Mehra, but a "stellar" quarter for the overall enterprise WLAN market. "Clearly the competition in this market is not letting up anytime soon."

Looking ahead to the rest of the year, Mehra says the WLAN segment of the enterprise networking market is clearly in high gear, and benefiting from the attention IT managers are giving to enterprise mobility as they try and support users with a number of diverse mobile devices. "Another aspect of this current growth spurt--it is being seen across a wider cross section of vertical markets than we have seen before, across all major geographies, and even in the service-provider segment, which is finally embracing Wi-Fi as a complementary, as opposed to competing, technology."

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