By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
Taiwan-based fabless chipset provider MediaTek says their revenue growth right now is linked to Wi-Fi 6 synergies with the widely successful rollout of 5G services, currently lead by China. The company claims to be second in Wi-Fi chipset market share for Android devices and first (by equipment volume) in connectivity and networking including retail routers.
Taiwan-based MediaTek may not be a household name in Wi-Fi chipsets in the West but get this: The company claims to lead the industry in market share by volume for retail routers, consumer electronic devices, and gaming. Much of MediaTek’s dominant position comes from supplying two of the world’s largest retail router providers, TP-Link and D-Link, with Wi-Fi chips. Together TP-Link and D-Link produce well over half of the world’s retail Wi-Fi routers, market studies indicate.
Right now much of the MediaTek’s growth in providing Wi-Fi 6 chipsets for phones and routers stems from synergies with 5G services with China being one of the leading markets, the company says. “As sales of 5G phones ramp up, we’re seeing excellent synergies with Wi-Fi 6. The two complement each other extremely well,” says Finbarr Moynihan, General Manager of Corporate Sales at MediaTek. According to this RCR Wireless news report, shipments of 5G mobile phones in China reached nearly 60 million by end of last month.
For Android devices MediaTek supplies a 2 x 2 Wi-Fi 6 connectivity solution as part of their ‘5G Dimensity 1000-series’ platform, while for retail routers and home gateways, the company supplies a configurable 4×4 Wi-Fi 6 platform called MT7915. The Wi-Fi 6 router platform packs a handful of innovations above and beyond the Wi-Fi 6 standard, explains MediaTek AVP Marketing James Chen.
“The platform is configurable so that you can select 4 x 4 for 5 GHz only or 2 x 2 for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. And to this one dedicated receiving chain used only to scan for availability of DFS channels, which powers our zero-wait DFS feature. Finally, we offer a high level of integration in that the front end module is included in our solution,” says James Chen.
MediaTek says it will be releasing their first 6 GHz Wi-Fi products by the end of 2020 in line with the timelines for legal operation in the U.S and Wi-Fi Alliance certification. In addition many other regulatory bodies in the European Union, Canada, as well as in China are also looking into unlicensed 6 GHz use. Many technical and government organizations, such as CEPT (European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications) in the EU and the CCSA (China Communications Standards Association) are conducting feasibility studies for the 6 GHz band, MediaTek says.
Specifically for China, regulation on 6 GHz Wi-Fi was set in motion last year: The CCSA (China Communications Standards Association) launched a feasibility study for the entire 6 GHz band (5.925 – 7.125 GHz) in April 2019. The study is expected to be completed by end of this year.
Beyond retail routers and phones, MediaTek says it holds the number one market share position in Wi-Fi-connected digital TVs. In March this year MediaTeak and Samsung introduced the world’s first Wi-Fi 6-capable 8K TV.