Home5G & BeyondCarrier-grade Wi-Fi market “red hot”, global spend to hit €3bn by 2017

    Carrier-grade Wi-Fi market “red hot”, global spend to hit €3bn by 2017


    The carrier-grade Wi-Fi market is growing rapidly, according to new research, with global spending on Wi-Fi equipment forecast to hit €3 billion by 2017 as operators ramp up Wi-Fi deployments to offload data traffic.

    Infonetics Research is reporting that carrier-grade Wi-Fi equipment revenue, which includes Wi-Fi access points and Wi-Fi hotspot controllers, increased by 53 percent between 2011 to 2012.

    Dual mode cellular/Wi-Fi access points began shipping in 2012 and are expected to see significant growth as demand for carrier-grade Wi-Fi grows significantly worldwide, with Indonesia, China and India leading the increase in demand.

    “The carrier Wi-Fi space is red hot right now, driven by the explosion in demand from mobile operators using Wi-Fi to augment their 3G/4G deployments and offload a portion of mobile data traffic to unlicensed spectrum,” said Richard Webb, directing analyst for microwave and carrier Wi-Fi at Infonetics Research.

    “Mobile operators by and large have held Wi-Fi at arm’s length, fearing that it could cannibalise their opportunity to derive data revenues. Now operators are embracing Wi-Fi to offload excess data and enhance the broadband experience for users.”

    Mobile operators are now in the midst of a furious “land-grab”, says Infonetics in its new report “Carrier Wi-Fi Equipment”.

    Operators are claiming prime small cell locations by deploying carrier-grade Wi-Fi quickly, so that they can later replace the Wi-Fi access points with dual mode 3G/Wi-Fi and LTE/Wi-Fi small cells at leisure.

    Read more: Carrier-grade Wi-Fi using Passpoint won’t be available till 2014