More than 18 billion devices in use, 4.4 billion shipping in 2022
Austin, TX – January 20, 2022 – Wi-Fi® users demand more efficient, reliable, and secure connectivity in 2022. 6 GHz regulatory approvals, remote-hybrid work scenarios, and complex connectivity systems in home, enterprise, and Internet of Things (IoT) environments will only continue to drive demand for high capacity, low latency Wi-Fi. In 2022, nearly 18 billion Wi-Fi devices will be in use, and more than 4.4 billion devices will ship this year.1 As Wi-Fi momentum mounts, Wi-Fi Alliance® looks ahead at four Wi-Fi trends expected in 2022.
Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E further adoption in homes and enterprises
Wi-Fi 6 reached 50 percent market adoption more quickly than previous Wi-Fi generations, fueled by demand for high quality Wi-Fi and more efficient, reliable connectivity in phones, tablets, and access points (AP). Additionally, enhanced performance, low latency, and greater power efficiencies allow Wi-Fi 6 to satisfy diverse needs of IoT in unrivaled ways. Increasing availability of 6 GHz worldwide coupled with Wi-Fi 6E interoperability certification created the foundation for a diverse Wi-Fi 6E ecosystem, as more than 350 million Wi-Fi 6E devices will enter the market in 2022.2 In 2022, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E will become more commonplace in daily life, both in homes and enterprises. Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E solutions for PCs and notebooks and mesh systems have already been introduced, and we expect many more home networking, automotive, IoT, and augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR) solutions supporting Wi-Fi 6 to make their way into users’ hands. Wi-Fi 6E access points will be deployed in home networks to meet the needs of bandwidth intensive, latency sensitive applications, and more service providers will recognize the tremendous speed and capacity benefits Wi-Fi 6E delivers to customers by making Wi-Fi 6E home gateways and access points part of their subscription plans.
Wi-Fi Alliance advances AFC framework
Global momentum for Wi-Fi 6E increases daily, and there is a sustained impetus to make the full 1200 MHz of spectrum in 6 GHz available for Wi-Fi in more countries. In 2022, Wi-Fi Alliance will continue to lead development of the Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) framework to ensure a diverse ecosystem of AFC service providers necessary to maximize adoption of outdoor and standard power Wi-Fi 6E in regions requiring AFC. The AFC system, already adopted into the 6 GHz regulatory framework in Canada and U.S., is also being considered by regulators in other countries. Wi-Fi Alliance has already announced the release of specifications and test plans for AFC system implementation, and more than a dozen potential AFC service providers have expressed interest to the Federal Communications Commission. This year, expect Wi-Fi Alliance to continue to maximize the adoption of standard power and outdoor Wi-Fi 6E and accelerate delivery of Wi-Fi 6E benefits.
Wi-Fi meets diverse IoT requirements
The global smart home market will reach more than $53 billion in 20223, fueled by consumer desire for connected appliances, security systems, and smart speakers that help save energy, time, and money. As companies invest trillions of dollars in IoT and consumers add more connected devices to their homes, Wi-Fi will further transform the smart home market in 2022. Wi-Fi has long been the technology of choice for IoT, and an expanded Wi-Fi IoT portfolio can now better meet diverse smart home connectivity needs. Wi-Fi 6 reinforces Wi-Fi is a premier option for IoT; Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E include features such as orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) that can improve performance in dense environments while target wake time (TWT) reduces battery consumption and makes Wi-Fi an ideal solution for sensor-based devices. Recently introduced Wi-Fi CERTIFIED HaLow™ delivers long range, low power Wi-Fi and enables a variety of new, power-efficient use cases for residential IoT and IIoT environments, as well as retail, agriculture, healthcare, smart home, and smart city markets. All Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ devices require strong WPA3™ security, with the highest protections for IoT environments.
Wi-Fi networks reach new optimization levels
The growing number of devices and users relying on video conferencing, voice-over-IP services, X Reality (XR) applications, and high definition (UHD) streaming at home and in enterprise networks have placed additional strain on both network managers and service providers. The additional data traffic and advanced applications used on today’s Wi-Fi networks require a new level of network optimization. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED portfolio of network optimization technologies has seen numerous advancements, resulting in Wi-Fi with greater mobility, enhanced network efficiency, and improved network visibility and management in home and enterprise networks in 2022. Optimizations including Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Easy Connect™ and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh™ now deliver more secure, smart, and efficient Wi-Fi home networks. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Optimized Connectivity™ improves mobility when roaming within and across Wi-Fi networks and between Wi-Fi and cellular networks. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management™ brings robust service delivery and high quality Wi-Fi experiences, while Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Data Elements™ helps service providers and network managers better manage complex Wi-Fi networks. In 2022 we will also see more Wi-Fi deployments by service providers in dense, city and public areas that support Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Passpoint®, a foundation of OpenRoaming framework, which raise the bar for speed, security, and reliability.
For more insight into 2022 Wi-Fi trends from Wi-Fi Alliance members, and to watch 2022 Wi-Fi trends videos from AirTies, Aruba, ASSIA, Boingo, Broadcom Inc., CommScope, Extreme Networks, HFCL Limited, Intel Corporation, NetExperience, onsemi, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., please visit: https://bit.ly/2022WiFiTrends
1 IDC Research, 2022
2 IDC Research, 2022
3 Statista, 2021
About Wi-Fi Alliance® | www.wi-fi.org
Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 70,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.