ABI Research forecasts more than 20 billion Wi-Fi devices are forecasted to ship between 2019 and 2024. The analysts says the technology is not showing signs of slowing, despite 20 years of evolution.
Continued growth in traditional markets of strength, alongside traction in mesh networking systems, smart home, automotive, and IoT applications will drive the Wi-Fi market forward to nearly 4 billion annual device shipments by 2024.
“Wi-Fi 6 is quickly gaining momentum in networking devices, while client devices are already arriving into the market and are anticipated to ramp up considerably over the next 12-18 months. The need for faster, more reliable, more efficient, and more widespread Wi-Fi coverage is becoming increasingly vital in a world filled with more Wi-Fi devices at both ends of the performance spectrum, from high resolution streaming and low latency gaming to battery constrained IoT devices,” said Andrew Zignani, Principal Analyst, ABI Research.
Wi-Fi’s expansion into the 60GHz and sub-1GHz bands through WiGig and HaLow have been considerably slower, though ABI Research anticipates these technologies will carve out their own success in the coming years.
“WiGig still has considerable potential for point-to-point applications such as wireless video streaming, virtual reality, and docking, and has recently seen considerable traction in fixed wireless access applications. HaLow chipsets and IP are finally coming to the market thanks to efforts from start-ups as Newracom, Morse Micro, and Palma Ceia SemiDesign among others, and the inherent flexibility of the technology could make it very attractive in LPWA type applications,” Zignani commented.
The Wi-Fi 6 standard is adding support for 6GHz capabilities, and work is already underway for the next generation that will take full advantage of the new spectrum. “These enhancements combined will ensure that Wi-Fi will continue to drive value well into its 30th anniversary and beyond,” Zignani concludes.