Despite a downward dip in revenue in the first quarter, the wireless LAN equipment market is on a roll, according to a recent report by Infonetics Research.


The global wireless LAN equipment market saw its first down quarter since the end of 2012, with revenue shrinking 11 percent sequentially in the first quarter of this year to $1.1 billion. Overall, the market was up 3 percent from the same period a year ago.

Over the course of last year, the WLAN equipment market grew 11 percent to $4.47 billion worldwide.

“While WLAN growth slowed last quarter, pricing across all access point types rose for the first time in three quarters. This is an emerging positive sign that 802.11ac is slowly starting to change the trajectory of the market and will drive renewed revenue growth over the coming quarters,” said Matthias Machowinski, directing analyst for enterprise networks and video at Infonetics Research.

Infonetics expects WLAN growth to accelerate in the coming quarters as infrastructure investments continue to favor WLAN to support more wireless devices, BYOD, and mobility, and as companies upgrade their networks to the latest technology

Infonetics’ report said that about as many 802.11ac access points shipped in the first quarter of this year as did in all of 2013. After a multi-year decline, independent access points have finally found a bottom and are now outpacing interactive access points, according to the report.

Ruckus Wireless had the highest growth rate among the top tier WLAN vendors, up a third year over-year in the most recent first quarter. On the other hand, Wi-Fi phones are off to a bad start in 2014, with revenue down 15 percent sequentially