If predictions from leading technology analyst firms are to be believed, the worldwide Wi-Fi market will continue to grow.
Dell’Oro estimates the Wi-Fi market to grow to $9.9 billion by 2016 of which the enterprise WLAN segment alone is estimated to be over $5 billion in revenues.
Gartner anticipates an even faster growth for the enterprise WLAN segment, with spending expected to reach $7.9 billion in 2016.
Here are a few trends (some of which are already happening!), which will go hand-in-hand with this next wave of massive growth in the enterprise WLAN market.
A growing number of enterprises will want to extend their Wi-Fi rollout across remote locations, e.g., branch offices, retail stores, distribution centers, restaurants, and the list could go on. The key challenge then would be to have centralized visibility and management of the entire deployment—ideally from a single console.
This trend will make the traditional controller-based architecture outdated sooner than later because it was not designed to manage Wi-Fi networks across geographically distributed sites. It’s too complex, costly, and does not scale. The change of guards is evidenced in the number of recent announcements by controller-based WLAN vendors. Some are hiding the controller in the cloud, some are hiding them in arrays, some are saying that they are giving customers a “choice” to turn it off (without telling them what functions will stop working without it!), while some are simply giving their marketing a “controller-less” spin. Unfortunately, you can’t turn a fork into a spoon overnight to eat soup instead of spaghetti! Or maybe you can! ;-)