By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
A new study commissioned by the Wi-Fi Alliance predicts that the global economic surplus value of Wi-Fi will rise to a staggering US$4.9 trillion by 2025, up from US$3.3 trillion in 2021. The economic value includes contributions from the use of Wi-Fi by consumers, businesses, service providers, and more. The rate of growth for the value of Wi-Fi will be a remarkable 150% between 2018 and 2025, the report says.
No matter how you measure it Wi-Fi is the world’s most successful wireless technology and arguably also the world’s most popular way to connect both people and things. So it is probably no surprise that the global value of Wi-Fi measured as its total contribution to the world’s economy would be massive, too. Now we know exactly how massive.
A study conducted by Telecom Advisory Group and commissioned by the Wi-Fi Alliance estimates that the global economic surplus value of Wi-Fi will rise from US$3.3 trillion in 2021 to US$4.9 trillion in 2025. The study has analysed the contribution of Wi-Fi to the economies of 14 countries as well as the European Union as a whole then extrapolates these to arrive at a global value, the report says. The full report can be downloaded here.
Key contributors to the economic value of Wi-Fi include free Wi-Fi, residential services, Wi-Fi offload and ISP services, products produced by the Wi-Fi ecosystem, IoT networks, and more. Drivers accelerating the demand and hence boosting the value of Wi-Fi include the advent of the new Wi-Fi 6 standard as well as Wi-Fi 6E operating in the newly released 6 GHz band, the study says.
The study also says that the value of Wi-Fi may rise even more steeply once the countries studied the release the 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi. In particular, access to the full 6 GHz band would result in a broader scale of IoT deployment, support sharp increases in video streaming, and power new applications in AR/VR, the study says. “Regulators should seriously consider giving Wi-Fi access to all 1200 MHz in the 6 GHz band to leverage maximum benefits, both economic and innovative,” the study says.
The report provides excellent reference facts and figures for any regulator right now mulling how much 6 GHz spectrum to release to unlicensed use including Wi-Fi. Needless to say: At Wi-Fi NOW we fully support and endorse country and international efforts to release the full 1.2 GHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz to Wi-Fi. The benefits of doing so – as also evidenced by this study – and profound and irrefutable.