Whether you are a consumer, SMB, big corporate, a college or university, being connected seamlessly to the Internet is beneficial in getting access to a number of services and information available online. This is where routers come into picture and as we witness an amplified requirement for not just connected devices but also for transferring data, photos & videos, and accessing new online services, these devices have become ever so important.
According to Global Industry Analysts, the global market for wireless routers is expected to reach $23 billion by 2020 driven by the proliferation of high-bandwidth data services, adoption of 4G/5G technologies and the expanding connected devices ecosystem. Strong demand for internet-enabled devices, proliferation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and expanding mobile workforce are other factors that play a part in generating growth in this market.
Coming to this region, the rise in the wireless router market is mainly driven by the adoption of smart devices such as smartphones, tablets, and smart TV together with demand for faster internet, increase in range of the wireless network, and the number of connected devices. Linksys finds the regional wireless router market to be picking up the pace, facing much brighter prospects going forward despite decline in market confidence towards the end of last year. It is for the same reason that Linksys is investing heavily in the region.
“Middle East continues to be a key market for us, and we are proud to hold a leadership position in the premium networking space. Going forward, we plan to add new partners and provide focused engagement to our partner community as well,” stated Amanulla Khan, Managing Director, Linksys – Middle East, Turkey & Africa.
Shabih Ul Hasanian, Channel Manager at TP-Link feels that the market has already taken an upward swing despite uncertain socio-economic conditions in some countries and the company has managed to maintain growth in wireless category. “We have witnessed good growth of routers category in last few years and it also has given us the opportunity to develop other wireless devices which can help to extend the wireless strength. Through our cost effective solutions, we are very optimistic about our future in the wireless router category, mainly in B2B sector,” Ul Hasanian added.
Regional Sales Manager of EnGenius International Dubai, Alishan Zaidi attributes the company’s rapid growth to their being a solution-focused networking vendor which has provided the company with an edge over the competition. “This has enabled our channel partners to propose the right and valuable proposal based on industry. Combined with a wide range of product line and flexibility in the solutions we offer, our partners are able to meet various project requirements with ease,” explained Zaidi.
Integration of the internet and wireless services in the industry has created a greater scope of growth for the market. As more and more people get connected to the Internet at home or through their mobile devices, new opportunities are opening up for partners to offer the right networking and wireless solutions to consumers, SOHO, SMB and enterprise customers. “TP-Link already claims more than 42% of total global market share in WLAN category with its consumer products and the Middle East market holds great potential for us. There are a number of opportunities available in this region to grow our business,” added Ul Hasanian.
Agreeing with Ul Hasanian’s view, Zaidi explains that market opportunities are numerous for channel partners in the region especially in vertical industries such as hospitality, hotspot solution, retails and education sector.
Khan attributes the majority of partner opportunities in this space to increasing adoption of IoT and connectivity. “Channel partners must look forward to new and revolutionary solutions (like our mesh technology) being introduced to the market as that is where growth opportunities lie. Retailer partners, at their end, need to constantly update the skill-set of their workforce as well. At our end, we are always investing in educating our partners to ensure that they are up-to-date with the new solutions we roll out, creating user-demand and bringing newer products to market,” he explained.
Zaidi, however, also emphasises the need for skilled and well trained workforce in order to overcome the challenges of the router market that is already very competitive. “As trends in the market change, one needs to keep pace with technological advancements so as not to be left behind. In such a scenario training plays a very important part and this is where we face challenges in keeping our partner community trained and informed on the newer product lines and technologies,” he added.
Since 2016, TP-Link started focusing on SMB products and launched several new devices which provide affordable Wi-Fi solutions to the market. The company is also working closely with its channel partners to develop their business and increase its reach to resellers and end users. “We have monthly training sessions with our partners to upgrade their knowledge about latest solutions that we have been providing to different industry verticals including education, hospitality, ISP and retail. We have also launched TPNA and TPNP certificates programs that enable our partners to execute the implementation work smoothly,” explained Ul Hasania.
The increasing penetration of Internet of Things (IoT) and the advent of new cellular technology such as 4G and 5G in mainstream applications are expected to further enhance penetration and revenue sales of Wi-Fi routers market. While the increasing preference for online services and continuous investment in communication infrastructure have accelerated development of wireless networking market globally, this region still faces challenges such as procurement of skilled labour required for providing and maintaining the quality of service.