October 28, 2021

Wi-Fi 6 Not Just for Consumer Market, Enterprise Sees Momentum

Shipments of Wi-Fi 6 — which is proving to be popular with enterprises – will experience a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 25% between this year and 2026, according to ABI Research. During that time, access point (AP) shipments will grow from 4.3 million to 13.4 million annually. In 2023, Wi-Fi 6 will become the leading enterprise Wi-Fi technology, with 8.7 million APs shipped, the research firm says.

Enterprises applications, which are considerably more demanding than residential and other consumer-level settings, are well suited for Wi-Fi 6.  Enterprises transfer much greater amounts of data, connect more devices and require greater security.

Broadcom, Celeno, Intel, MediaTek, NXP, On Semiconductor, and Qualcomm have developed Wi-Fi 6 products for verticals such as industrial manufacturing, hospitality, retail, government, and healthcare, researchers note. The researchers expect rapid adoption of Wi-Fi 6-enabled devices and infrastructure.

A number of elements are optimizing enterprise Wi-Fi 6 deployments. These include Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) modulation that supports high-density deployments and reduces device power consumption. Target Wake Time (TWT) enables low-power devices to communicate with APs about the optimal wake times for data transmission, even within mesh networks. This also reduces power use. The technology is backward compatible and uses WPA3 for security.

ABI advises chipset vendors, network product designers, and OEMs to update products to facilitate the use of the new protocols and be ready for even newer technology – including Wi-Fi 7.

“The transition to Wi-Fi 6 is helping improve enterprise network speed, capacity, and performance by connecting larger numbers of simultaneous devices, reducing power consumption, and optimizing transition times. Wi-Fi 6 is vital for the enterprise,” ABI Research Analyst Stephanie Tomsett said (https://www.abiresearch.com/press/wi-fi-6-set-lead-enterprise-wi-fi-market-87-million-access-point-shipments-2023/) in a press release.

ETI stands ready to support our customers with their Wi-Fi 6 evolution, which should include identifying opportunities for both the consumer and business segments.