Wi-Fi market on the up as CPE, 802.11ac standard access points set to grow

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The global Wi-Fi customer premises equipment (CPE) market is set to grow by 11 eleven percent this year, according to new research. 

Shipments of CPE are set to surpass 176 million units by the end of 2014, ABI Research has forecast, while sales of 802.11ac standard access points will hit almost 32 million in the same period. 

Worldwide shipments of 802.11ac access points, routers and residential gateways have accelerated since the arrival of WLAN in 2013, with Wi-Fi-enabled smartphones, connected devices and higher broadband penetration driving demand for more ubiquitous connectivity. 

In the consumer market, CPE from vendors D-Link and NETGEAR accounted for over 20 percent of worldwide access point shipments in the first quarter of 2014, ABI said.

Meanwhile, ABI estimates that the enterprise Wi-Fi equipment market will generate revenues of $8.1 billion (€6.3 billion) by the end of 2019. 

Cisco and Aruba Networks sold the highest number of 802.11 access points (100,000) to the enterprise market during the first quarter of this year.

Jake Saunders, VP and Practice Director at ABI, commented: “Growth is expected in all regions, driven by increased broadband penetration and more connected devices in homes.”  

Shipments of WiFi devices supporting the older 802.11a/b/g standard have “dropped significantly” in recent years to be replaced by 802.11n products, ABI added.  

It says that the increase in adoption of 802.11ac will cause a drop-off of 802.11n devices in 2015.

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