IoT and 5G to fuel carrier Wi-Fi growth, claims new report

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The carrier Wi-Fi market is set to grow by a total of $3.5 billion over the next four years thanks to ongoing demand for network density and the Internet of Things, new research has claimed.

It experienced modest growth of 1.3 percent last year to reach $426 million.

However, by 2022, revenue will be worth $725 million thanks to the deployment of standalone Wi-Fi access points and dual mode Wi-Fi and cellular access points.

Richard Webb, Director of Research and Analysis for Service Provider Technology at IHS Markit, said: “The arrival of the 5G era will gradually transform network architectures, but the requirements for network density mean that Wi-Fi will continue to play a strong support role for mobile broadband end-users and for newer applications such as the Internet of Things and smart city.

“We expect an uptick in carrier Wi-Fi investments through 2020, aligned with 5G network development.”

Webb said demand for this connectivity was not region specific but noted the scale of requests for proposals from China, Indonesia and India means these countries would be the strongest driver of growth in the coming years.

Elsewhere in the report, it found revenues were tumbling for dual mode 3G/Wi-Fi equipment by 66.4 percent to $17 million.

SIM-based access points saw adoption growth of 21.6 percent year on year, which the report said would help operators achieve tighter links between Wi-Fi and mobile networks.

It also said NFV could help fixed and mobile operators deliver the likes of data analytics and location based services, and reduce capex and opex.

A report from last year by the Wireless Broadband Alliance claimed Wi-Fi would sit alongside 5G in providing high download speeds and capacity.