The WiFi equipment market, which includes routers, gateways, wireless controller and NICs such as PCI adaptors, PC cards, USB adapters and access points, will see significant growth fuelled by demand from the enterprise sector.
ABI Research claims the market showed rapid growth in the last two quarters of 2010, and will grow by 63 percent between now and 2016.
The 802.11n wireless standard has contributed to a significant growth of new products and upgrades, with more people demanding mobile internet access with greater speed and bandwidth, as well as Wi Fi hotspots in the major cities around the world.
Khin Sandi Lynn, ABI research associate explained that while the growth will see competition among the main players increasing, Cisco will remain the dominant force in the wireless equipment market.
“Netgear and D-Link have emerged as serious competitors, with TP-Link establishing a foothold in the consumer segment and becoming an emergent force in the Chinese market, posing a threat to market leaders such as Cisco and Aruba,” she commented.
“Nevertheless, Cisco, the incumbent, remains an established leader in the enterprise segment.”
The increasing competition will also see greater pricing pressures for products such as USB adapters, says Lynn.
The global trend for WiFi hotspots is expected to continue until 2015, together with demand for enterprise equipment rather than consumer wireless adapters. However, both market segments will grow overall due to increased global demand, says Lynn.
The Wi-Fi equipment market is expected to see more than 9 percent compound annual growth rate from 2011 to 2016, with the enterprise segment contributing the bulk of the growth at more than 21 percent CAGR.
“In volume shipment terms, the consumer segment is forecast to see more than 112 million units by 2016, representing more than 63 percent growth over 2010,” says Peter Cooney, semiconductors practice director at ABI Research.