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Analyst: WiFi dominates in-home net connectivity

August 8, 2019

The success of Wi-Fi technology is confirmed in new research from Strategy Analytics showing that nearly five billion home Wi-Fi devices are now in use around the world. Furthermore, the report – The Wireless Home: Assessing the Scale of the Global Home Wi-Fi Device Market – predicts that a new wave of Wi-Fi smart home devices is about to drive adoption towards a total of 17 billion home devices in use worldwide by 2030, cementing the Wireless Home as one of the leading technology trends of the early 21st century.

The report also finds that the leading home Wi-Fi standard today is Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), accounting for three quarters of 2019 device sales. The newly introduced standard, Wi-Fi 6, will account for a third of device sales by 2023, and is expected to become dominant later in the 2020s.

The growth of Wi-Fi-enabled smart home devices such as smart speakers, smart appliances, video cameras and thermostats, will represent the third wave in the evolution of the wireless home. This began with home computing devices in the early 2000s, and was followed by smart TV devices in the 2010s. In 2019, smart TV devices will account for 29 per cent of all home Wi-Fi devices in use, but will be overtaken by smart home devices in 2020, which will eventually account for more than 60 per cent of Wi-Fi devices in use.

“The shape of the wireless home is constantly evolving to meet changing consumer needs and expectations,” says David Watkins, Director, Connected Home Devices. “Wi-Fi technology has adapted well to these requirements over time and looks set to remain the dominant platform for in-home Internet connectivity for many years to come.”

The report also identifies further questions which vendors and service providers should consider:

  • How serious is the risk that 5G could replace Wi-Fi for some in-home use cases, and which devices could be most affected?
  • Will the Wi-Fi 6 variant be sufficient to meet needs for data throughput, reliability and ease of use?
  • How should device vendors present and market the capabilities of Wi-Fi 6 in order maximize sales and profit potential?
  • Which types of smart home device will see the biggest sales volumes?

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