According to a recently published report from Dell’Oro Group, the overall market is expected to exceed £10 billion by 2026 and see a healthy CAGR over the next five years. Enterprise Wireless LAN backlogs will balloon to over 100% of revenues in 2022, leaving companies to get inventive in their search for Wi-Fi coverage. A boost in unit shipments is not expected until late 2023, with a return to normal unit growth still two years away.
“Wireless LAN market sales are being dragged down by manufacturers’ record-breaking backlogs,” says Siân Morgan, Wireless LAN Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “Our recent interviews have revealed that the lead time for receiving Wireless LAN access points has stretched to between six months and a year – a significant change from the ‘weeks-to-months’ that enterprises were waiting at the end of 2021. Supply constraints have shifted, including not just the main Wi-Fi chips but also secondary or even tertiary components. With a limited ability to fulfil the orders flooding in, manufacturers will focus their late 2022 and early 2023 shipments on working down outstanding backlogs: mainly orders for Wi-Fi 6. Unit shipments should start to loosen up later in 2023, about the time Wi-Fi 7 appears on the market.
“Enterprises are going to creative lengths to procure Wi-Fi solutions, such as prolonging existing support contracts, using older equipment or even repurposing consumer-grade routers. Systems integrators are recommending ways to enable more applications, squeezing more value from the existing network infrastructure. In sum, now is a time characterised by invention,” adds Siân.