Carrier WiFi equipment revenue in H1 2016 grows 1.3%, Brocade leads


global-carrier-wifi-equipment-revenue-ihs-markitGlobally, carrier WiFi equipment revenue reached $306 million in H1 2016, growing 1.3 percent over H2 2015, says the new market research from IHS Markit.

Brocade (Ruckus Wireless) was the carrier WiFi equipment revenue market share leader in H1 2016, just marginally ahead of Huawei. Cisco came in third, followed by Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) and Nokia.

Majority of the revenue was derived from mobile service providers, with large tier-1 mobile network operators (MNOs) such as China Mobile driving volume, the report said.

Demand for bandwidth continues to push the market forward, but modest vendor shipments and small cell adoption—combined with unit price erosion—tempered revenue growth in the first half of the year.

Access points accounted for 82 percent of carrier WiFi gear revenue in H1 2016, with WiFi controllers comprising the remaining 18 percent. Mobile service providers accounted for the bulk of revenue (45 percent), followed by fixed-line service providers (35 percent) and wireless internet service providers (19 percent).

IHS expects revenue growth will improve in the second half of 2016, but still hover in the single digits, owing to acceleration in the adoption of 4G dual-mode small cell and WiFi access points.

Subscriber identity module (SIM) access points have rapidly overtaken WiFi hotspot access points as the highest-volume carrier WiFi access point product segment, and the 802.11ac protocol made up 83 percent of carrier WiFi access point revenue in H1 2016.

In terms of geographical revenue breakdown, Asia Pacific led Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) by just 1 percent. North America was next, trailed distantly by the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA).

Richard Webb, research director, mobile backhaul and small cells, IHS Markit

editor@telecomlead.com