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HPE Aruba, Juniper, Cisco Named Top WLAN Vendors

Meantime, "sky-high revenues" from record backlogs may come back down to earth, according to an analyst firm.

James Anderson

June 27, 2023

3 Min Read
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ABI Research has named HPE the best of the WLAN vendors from a recent study.

The research firm on Tuesday revealed analysis from its Wi-Fi & WLAN Technologies and Markets program. ABI listed HPE atop the WLAN leaderboard, ahead of Juniper Networks and Cisco. At the same time, Dell’Oro Group measured the size of the WLAN market as $2.7 billion in the first quarter of 2023. That’s a slight tick down from a red hot fourth quarter but a year-over-year quarterly increase.

Both studies point to impending changes in the market, with Dell’Oro warning that the recent revenue lift from reduced backlogs could even out and ABI heaping praise on WLAN vendors that adopt network as a service.

Leading WLAN Vendors

ABI senior analyst Andrew Spivey gave HPE the gold medal in his 10-company leaderboard. He cited HPE’s Aruba Networking division for its AIOps platform as well as its focus on network as a service. Aruba executives have hit hard on their NaaS value proposition over the last year and have touted their ability to consolidate network management on the Aruba Central platform.

Spivey said WLAN vendors who ran strong implementations of NaaS scored well.

For silver medalist Juniper, Spivey gave a nod to the AI capabilities it possesses from its acquisition of Mist AI. Then ABI listed Cisco in third, citing its security features and advanced analytics.

Spivey gave the channel a shoutout in his analysis of the market. That included crediting Cisco for its “broad range” of strategic partnerships.

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ABI’s Andrew Spivey

“Enterprise WLAN vendors operate in a mature market with many deep-rooted incumbents safeguarding their market share with robust global distributor and reseller channels across various business verticals,” Spivey said.

He added that these providers are targeting verticals more granularly than ever. He said Extreme Networks has focused its portfolio on public venues. He also said Arista Networks has gone after data center and campus.

Market Growth

According to estimations Dell’Oro Group released earlier in June, global WLAN revenues grew 48% year-over-year the first quarter of 2023. The research firm pointed to shrinking backlogs, high shipment volume and increased prices.

Revenue measured at $3 billion in Q4 2022, with record Cisco shipments partly to thank, according to Dell’Oro.

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Dell’Oro’s Siân Morgan

The Dell’Oro first quarter Wireless LAN Quarterly Report found that average unit prices increased year-over-year. However, Dell’Oro projected those prices to decline.

“The enterprise-class WLAN industry has not seen such a long stretch of year-over-year revenue growth in 10 years,” Dell’Oro wireless LAN research director Siân Morgan said. “But new orders are declining from the peaks of last year. Sky-high revenues are being fueled by the release of accumulated backlogs, and our analysis shows that this may be hiding a reduction in IT spending, with a digestion period right around the corner.”

Morgan noted that China is seeing the slowest WLAN revenue growth. She pointed to a “considerable shift” in how Huawei is geographically distributing WLAN revenue.1686066240619.jpg

1Q Dell’Oro Group Wireless LAN Quarterly Report

Dell’Oro also noted that customers are adopting Wi-Fi 6E access points more slowly than they adopted Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5. In addition, Dell’Oro noted that government initiatives are helping make outdoor WLAN a growing portion of the market.

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About the Author(s)

James Anderson

Senior News Editor, Channel Futures

James Anderson is a news editor for Channel Futures. He interned with Informa while working toward his degree in journalism from Arizona State University, then joined the company after graduating. He writes about SD-WAN, telecom and cablecos, technology services distributors and carriers. He has served as a moderator for multiple panels at Channel Partners events.

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