Worldwide revenue for the combined consumer and enterprise wireless local area network (WLAN) market segments increased 17.9% year over year in the fourth quarter of 2020 (Q4 2020) and grew 10.3% for the full year, according to results published in IDC Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker. The enterprise segment grew revenues an impressive 10.3% year over year in Q4 2020 to reach $1.86 billion and 1.9% for the full year 2020, reaching $6.35 billion.

A key driver for the enterprise WLAN market is the rapid emergence of the Wi-Fi 6 standard, also known as 802.11ax. Across the enterprise segment, Wi-Fi 6-enabled dependent access points (APs) made up 43.7% of revenues, up from 39.9% of revenues in the third quarter of 2020, indicating strong continued adoption of the newest WLAN standard. Wi-Fi 6 units accounted for 32.2% of dependent AP shipments, up from 26.7% in the previous quarter. The Wi-Fi 5 standard, 802.11ac, still makes up the majority of dependent AP shipments (62.7%) and revenues (55.2%). Overall unit shipments in the enterprise WLAN market grew 14.0% in Q4 2020 compared to a year earlier.

Meanwhile, the consumer WLAN market continued to show strength in the final quarter of 2020. Revenues increased 23.8% year over year in Q4 2020 and rose 16.4% for the full year. Within the consumer market, 60.5% of shipments and 68.7% of revenues were for 802.11ac products, indicating the slower adoption of Wi-Fi 6 in the consumer market compared to the enterprise market. WLAN equipment supporting the older 802.11n standard still made up 32.9% of unit shipments and 15.1% of revenues.

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