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Wireless LAN spending is down, 802.11n spending is up

Market analyst firm Dell’Oro published a 1st quarter assessment of the wireless LAN market which showed that a severe 11% drop in enterprise spending from the 1st quarter of last year and a 15% drop from the 4th quarter of 2008.

Dell’Oro says Cisco’s huge share shrank a little, from 63.1% to 60% from a year earlier. HP ProCurve doubled its share from 1.7% to 3.1%, no doubt thanks to its acquisition of WLAN vendor Colubris. Aruba’s share is 8.1% and Motorola’s is 5.9%.

Despite the overall poor showing for WLAN, 802.11n technology sales grew 4% from the 4th quarter of last year, according to a report from PCWorld.  and 802.11n technology now makes up the majority of the WLAN sales for the first time ever.

Cisco’s domination in the wireless LAN market remains intact, but it’s interesting to see their share shrink just a little bit. In fact, looking at the numbers, the amount of market share Cisco lost equals ProCurve’s ENTIRE market share.

The WLAN market remains extremely crowded and some of the largest network infrastructure vendors not named Cisco (Brocade, Juniper) lack a true WLAN product line. I expect to see some more consolidation before the recession ends.

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