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Wi-Fi 6 set to lead in enterprise with 8.7mn access points shipped by 2023

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ABI Research predicts enterprise Wi-Fi 6 access point shipments will rise from 4.3 million in 2021 to 13.4 million in 2026

Wi-Fi 6 is improving connectivity within the enterprise by connecting employees, guests, visitors, and customers securely, and increasing productivity and flexibility via a range of different devices.

Enterprise networks differ from home networks as they communicate greater levels of information, connect more devices and require higher levels of security.

Global technology intelligence firm ABI Research expects that Wi-Fi 6 will lead the enterprise Wi-Fi market in 2023 as Wi-Fi 6 enterprise access point shipments rise at a compound annual growth rate of 25% between 2021 and 2026.

Speed, capacity and performance

“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,” says Stephanie Tomsett, Research Analyst at ABI Research.

Chipset vendors such as Broadcom, Celeno, Intel, MediaTek, NXP, On Semiconductor, and Qualcomm have developed enterprise Wi-Fi 6 networking solutions and support for various  verticals, from industrial manufacturing to hospitality, retail, government and healthcare.

It is expected that there will be rapid adoption in both Wi-Fi 6 enabled devices and infrastructure from a range of companies across the enterprise Wi-Fi market, providing improved connectivity via a variety of features.

Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) provides support for high-density deployments, enabling more efficient allocation of bandwidth to multiple users simultaneously.

This will also help reduce power consumption on these devices, ensuring that they receive high-quality connectivity without regularly searching for the required bandwidth.

Backwardly compatible

“Along with this, Target Wake Time (TWT) allows low-power devices within enterprises to communicate with the [access points] about the optimal wake times for data transmission, even in mesh networks, decreasing the amount of power used.

It is also backwardly compatible, providing support for older devices. WPA3 also helps to improve enterprise security, providing strong data protection, support for multiple users, and enables better mobility,” Tomsett explains.

To stay competitive, major players within the Wi-Fi market are supporting the push toward offering Wi-Fi 6 solutions for enterprise deployments.

Tomsett concludes, “Chipset vendors, networking product designers, and networking OEMs should all consider continually updating their offerings to introduce new protocols and conform to new standards, being aware of future updates, such as Wi-Fi 7, and how they can aid the market.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s Enterprise Wi-Fi Market Update application analysis report.