Impact of Wi-Fi 6 on the Broadband Market

Wi-Fi 6’s dual-band capabilities to deliver 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands simultaneously open up several commercial applications and use cases across industries. Further, the advantage of Wi-Fi 6 over Wi-Fi 5 technology in terms of throughput by 3x-4x higher capacity and lower latency by about 3/4x, even in a congested network environment, increases the attractiveness of Wi-Fi 6 as a long-awaited technology to address several concerns of Wi-Fi providers and consumers.  

Wi-Fi hotspots surrounded by guzzling data devices like smart TVs, laptops, gaming and streaming devices are in dire need of Wi-Fi 6 access points for a good experience. Places that offer public Wi-Fi (both free and paid) in railway stations, airports, stadiums, and shopping malls fall short of speed and bandwidth with huge market opportunities for Wi-Fi 6.

While Wi-Fi 6 is celebrated for enhancing the experience of several existing broadband use cases, the IoT ecosystem driving the digital transformation will surge the demand for 5G and Wi-Fi 6 as complementary technologies. Enterprises could bypass the limitations of Wi-Fi 6 while communicating with transceivers in external networks by combining 5G networks with Wi-Fi 6 hotspots. Industry 4.0’s primary enabler is the Connected Ecosystem, which has IoT endpoints in a communication network with the lowest possible latency and higher capacity.

Large establishments such as manufacturing units and healthcare providers operate in an enclosed environment with several structural hurdles for the communication signals to penetrate and transmit information. In such cases, connecting IoT devices directly to the 5G network might lead to a loss in efficiency. To avoid such data loss/delay in transmission, enterprises must connect their IoT devices to Wi-Fi 6 access points that are further linked to aa 5G cellular network for long-range communication.

The mass deployment of IoT solutions worldwide demands private cellular networks (PCN) in the deployment zone for effective and efficient communication. PCNs have become a significant entity in the IoT ecosystem to ensure seamless IoT operations. Although enterprises would have invested in network security for safety purposes, Wi-Fi 6 access points and routers are WPA 3-compliant devices that prevent attacks like brute force attacks on device passwords, thwart hackers, and boost encryption.

In addition, the Wi-Fi broadband market is experiencing strong growth with the advent of several smart city projects and IoT-driven industrial and commercial large-scale projects. The major use cases such as wireless broadband in public safety, fleet management, in-building wireless, indoor and outdoor Wi-Fi, smart cities, and wireless for smart buildings are expected to drive the growth of the Wi-Fi 6 market. As a standalone or complementary solution to 5G networks, Wi-Fi 6 will play a significant role as the anchor technology of future wireless networks. However, to leverage Wi-Fi 6 to its maximum, users should upgrade to Wi-Fi 6-enabled hardware and infrastructure, despite Wi-Fi 6 having backward compatibility with Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 4 network devices.       

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