Increased smartphone and tablet use drives strong Q1 sales of WiFi equipment

Ruckus Enjoys Strongest-Ever Quarter in EMEA; An Increase in Channel Partners, Expansion of  Sales Force and Multiple Carrier Deals Lead to Record Bookings and Shipments for Wi-Fi Vendor

Ruckus Wireless, one of the fastest growing suppliers of wireless products, today announced increased demand of its Smart Wi-Fi products and technologies and said it experienced the strongest quarter-on-quarter (Q/Q) growth within the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region in the company’s history.

In the first quarter of this year, Ruckus, one of the industry’s fastest growing wireless suppliers, grew by 34 percent overall in EMEA, with an 86 percent increase in outdoor and 27 percent increase in indoor Wi-Fi product shipments. The company attributes its success in this region to the influx of wireless-only smart devices hitting corporate networks, the previous investment in expanding its sales force, attracting new channel partners, and closing several strategic carrier deals.

“Wi-Fi demand and adoption has never been greater,” said James Calderbank, director of enterprise sales, EMEA at Ruckus Wireless. “And it’s never been greater throughout the EMEA region.” Gartner estimates the European wireless LAN market will more than double from 2010 sales of €478 million to €980 million by 2014.

Driving Ruckus’ growth is the increased demand for mobility, the use of media-rich applications and the exploding number of users armed with new Wi-Fi-enabled devices such as tablets and smart phones.

Industry analysts estimate that in central and western Europe as well as the Middle East and Africa, the install base of smart phones (over all mobile handsets) will double between now and 2014. In addition, mobile data traffic within each of these European regions is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 105% over the next four years.

Notable Q1 customer wins in the EMEA region included:

Accor hotels (Czech Republic)

Chaucer Foods (France)

Hotel Golf Peralada (Spain)

Local government in Mragowo (North East of Poland)

Medical Faculty of Charles University in Prague (Czech republic)

Peermont Hotel (South Africa)

SHT Haustechnik AG (Austria)

St Josef-Stitf Sendenhorst Hospital (Germany)

Ville de Chatelaillon (France)

Wallingford (UK)

Wireless Suisse (Switzerland)

Leveraging the Channel to Scale

“One of the keys to our growth has been successfully scaling the channel,” said Calderbank. “As one of the only pure-play wireless companies with a Wi-Fi system purpose-built for the channel, we’ve been able to exploit the middle of the wireless LAN market which is almost exclusively serviced by solution partners.”

Year to date, Ruckus added over 250 solutions partners within EMEA, bringing the total number of VARs in the region to over 750. The company also signed eight new distributors in France, North Africa, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Cyprus and Israel, and has plans to continue the aggressive expansion of its partner base throughout EMEA and the rest if the world in 2011. “We’ve only really scratched the surface in this market with respect to our European channel network,” said Calderbank.

Much of the Q1 growth came from traditional verticals such as education, hospitality and healthcare as they work to address the influx of new Wi-Fi devices, more users wanting to connect wirelessly and the increased expectations for a more reliable wireless experience. Beyond the enterprise, carriers showed a strong and renewed interest in Wi-Fi as they look to build affordable capacity and coverage to augment their cellular networks, offer mobile data offload services and deliver faster and more reliable Wi-Fi access.

Calderbank noted that with the continued growth of internal and field sales along with signing more partners, the company is set to build on this success and gain a strong foothold in both the carrier and enterprise markets.

To help drive sales in this region, Ruckus has recently appointed eight industry executives to its European team. The expanded European team will not only help to boost Ruckus’ sales, but also enable the team to deliver a higher level of support to enterprises and service providers across EMEA, helping them build ubiquitous high-performance, reliable and easy-to-deploy wireless networks that specifically cater to their business needs.