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The 802.11ac Wave 2 Upgrade Will Drive $30B in Network Refresh

Posted by Ty Tobin on Mar 25, 2016 11:36:15 AM

Some big waves are disrupting the wireless LANs of your customers. These include a combination of users and guests bringing more mobile devices to work and doing a lot more of their computing on those devices; a large increase in other devices communicating wirelessly; and new wireless networking technology standards that can help customers handle the new bandwidth demands being created as a result.

While all of these trends puts a big strain on the typical wireless LAN and make things pretty rough for your customers, we believe they also create tremendous opportunities for partners in 2016.

Mobile Is the Preferred Computing Platform

At the Consumer Electronics Show earlier this year, hundreds of new devices were announced with built in Gigabit Wi-Fi compatibility.  Many of those laptops, tablets, and smartphones with their increased bandwidth capability will be in the hands of employees soon.

At the same, time, we all know mobile apps now dominate and are quickly supplanting the desktop as the preferred form of computing, thanks in part to the insatiable mobile appetite of #GenMobile.

GenMobile is a new, and growing generation of workers, defined not by any specific age or demographic but by their need and demand for 24/7 digital and wireless access. In fact, their hunger for wireless might seem at first to border on addiction. In a recent GenMobile survey, 65% claim to have 3 or more devices and 29% said they would give up coffee before giving up their smartphone!

Another driver of the need for increased wireless capacity is the Internet of Things (IoT).  From sensors to wearable tech and smart cars, IoT is becoming mainstream. There are already more “things” connected to the Internet than people, and by 2020, we should expect the number of Internet-connected things to reach 50 billion.

Quick stat: 82% of companies will have IoT applications implemented into their business in some way by 2017.

This will also drive a surge in (mostly wireless) machine-to-machine (M2M) communication. Current examples include point-of-sale terminals, security cameras, RFID readers, and copy machines.  Most enterprises are finding more applications for IoT in their organizations every day, forcing their IT teams to plan for and accommodate thousands of new devices connecting to their networks.

2016 – The Force Awakens and Technologies Align

Organizations can now upgrade to the latest WLAN technology - called Gigabit Wi-Fi or Wave 2. 802.11ac Wave 2 is the next evolution of 802.11ac and 802.11n and is attractive because it handles more devices using applications that need increased bandwidth. But, to avoid a bottleneck, switches to which the Wave 2 access points (APs) connect must be upgraded to at least 10Gb.  This represents a big campus network refresh opportunity.

Access points using Wave 2, deliver a slew of important network performance enhancements that will help meet the growing data demands of today’s enterprise, such as:

  • Wider channels with increased bandwidth and less interference to accommodate more users and rich media content
  • Refined chipsets to connect more devices and cover larger areas
  • Up to 30% improved data efficiency, using less power per Megabyte

Many enterprises are eager to exploit the promises of Wave 2 to equip their network to handle the new performance requirements, and ensure they keep their customers, users and employees happy and productive.

Your customers are projected to spend $30+ BILLION to refresh their campus networks

Your customers need to refresh their wireless and campus networking solutions to stay ahead and stay competitive. By now, many of them understand this means investing in the latest WLAN technology designed specifically for Wave 2 Gigabit Wi-Fi, and they want to transition in a way that works for their budgets and legacy equipment.

They’re looking for solutions like dual-band Wave 2 access points (AP’s) that will allow them to support multiple types of Wi-Fi on one radio for backwards compatibility with 802.11n.  They need switches with upgraded capacity to accommodate the increased bandwidth and upgraded mobility controllers to handle a broad range of users.

Security is also a #1 priority – customers are in the market for built-in solutions that will help them manage things like guest access, device onboarding, identification, and permissions with ease and confidence.  Built in firewalls and the ability to tie easily into existing directory access (LDAP such as Active Directory) are important considerations.

All these solutions combined will enable them to transition to, and maximize, this new technology.

The good news is they don’t need to be convinced: 75% of companies either have a BYOD strategy or they’re rapidly trying to implement one.  And 94% of businesses say they’re already seeing ROI from some of their M2M communication.

And they’re not slowing down. In fact, analysts are projecting up to $30 billion in campus refresh spend – on things like campus switches and WLAN upgrades. That’s only the amount projected through 2017. And this is in addition to other direct spend on the 802.11ac upgrade such as corporate issued laptops.

So all this means tremendous opportunity for partners, too.

Solution providers that demonstrate an understanding of these changing market dynamics, and can offer the right portfolio of networking solutions to address them, will be best positioned to capture their share of this $30+ billion opportunity.

For an Avnet Hewlett Packard Enterprise/Aruba partner, the timing couldn’t be more perfect – the new HPE + Aruba Campus Networking portfolio addresses these needs and positions you perfectly to ride the 802.11ac campus refresh wave.


Get in on this opportunity today. Visit Avnet’s The Good Life campaign at www.TheGoodLifeAvnet.com for training, sales tools, contests and more.

Article Resources

- http://smallbiztrends.com/2014/05/gen-mobile-transforming-workplace.html

- http://internetofthingsagenda.techtarget.com/tip/The-best-choice-for-enterprise-IoT-networking-is-Wi-Fi

- http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/02/06/17-internet-of-things-statistics-you-dont-know.aspx

- http://www.link-labs.com/internet-of-things-statistics/

Tags: IoT, Mobility, HPE, Networking