There is a strong demand for affordable enterprise-grade wireless solutions. Ubiquiti UniFi appears to be filling that need.
Ubiquiti may be well known for their point-to-point products but recently, there’s been a decline in that product line and a gigantic increase in the UniFi solution. UniFi rivals the larger enterprise wireless providers but offers it at a reasonable price.
A lower price point is enticing enough for many customers. UniFi access points are in the sub-$1k range which doesn’t break the budget.
Recently, Ubiquiti’s Q1 2019 earnings report was released and they saw an increase of 41.3% in revenue for the Enterprise technology segment. That brought the revenue up for that segment to $177.9 million. This includes UniFi, mFi, and AmpliFi products. This is a 15.1% increase in growth from Q1 2018! In Q3 2018, they grew 31.6%, to $149.5 million which was 60% of total sales!
The growth is explosive.
There’s no doubt, the UniFi management dashboard provides more than just the basics of wireless management. Ubiquiti is expanding it to become a true provider for high performing wireless networks.
I’m worried about poor wireless design. While UniFi may be affordable and easy to configure, it is equally easy to implement wireless incorrectly. High capacity and challenging environments need a proper wireless design to get the performance out of the investment.
The other concern is quality. I’d like to test quality of the access points for myself. Stress tests with competitive access points should also be performed. If the performance is along the same lines as other vendors then we can say UniFi is making a dent in an industry largely dominated by big vendors.
Will we see a bigger shift in the wireless industry towards lower cost access points? Yes. I haven’t been impressed in code and hardware quality from the incumbent players. There’s plenty of room for someone to come along and cause disruption. Vendors must provide value beyond simple configuration. Attention must be spent on code quality and hardware to make a clear differentiation.