By Claus Hetting, Wi-Fi NOW CEO & Chairman
The world works in cycles – and the Wi-Fi pendulum is right now gathering speed. At Wi-Fi NOW we believe the current massive potential for Wi-Fi – powered in large part by new 6 GHz spectrum and new standards – has been fulfilled to the tune of a handful of percent at the most. It’s time to get involved.
We also believe that in the coming years we will see Wi-Fi gradually superseding the dominant role that the mobile industry has enjoyed for decades. As always, your task as a Wi-Fi industry professional is to gather all the right information and insights – and then act to build and support your business.
So what are the BIG Wi-Fi themes and topics you need to keep an eye on?
★ Giant opportunities in smart home Wi-Fi
Smart home technology and services is one of the biggest opportunities in tech overall – and Wi-Fi is the cornerstone of the smart home. Only a few percent of the homes around the globe are served by managed Wi-Fi and the need for smart home Wi-Fi solutions will keep rising. Meanwhile multi-gigabit fibre to the home is driving up the need for gigabit whole-home Wi-Fi.
★ Capitalising on 6 GHz spectrum everywhere
Release of the 6 GHz spectrum to Wi-Fi two years ago was a landmark decision in the history of technology. Since then the Wi-Fi industry has been working overtime to deliver 6 GHz Wi-Fi services everywhere. We believe we’ve only scratched the surface on capitalising on 6 GHz Wi-Fi – and that by far most of the value of the band will be extracted in the coming 5-10 years.
★ Will there be a Wi-Fi AR/VR device revolution?
Meta says yes – and certainly the Wi-Fi standards are ready to deliver gigabit speeds and extreme low latency to make it all come alive. And with rumoured glasses and headsets from Apple and others – could AR/VR (XR) happen for the mass market, or will these types of applications find their customers in industry – or both? Time to dive into the debate.
★ Enterprises & industries transformed by Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7
Companies and industries are back with a vengeance following disruptions and lockdowns – and the need for device connectivity, connected vehicles, automation, sensors, control, monitoring, connected robotics, etc. is bigger than ever. But now there’s a difference: New Wi-Fi standards deliver predictable and SLA-compliant performance. This expands the addressable market for Wi-Fi solutions enormously.
★ New and vastly improved: Location-based services
Wi-Fi-based LBS is just about to experience a rebirth – and this time it is ready for the mass market. New architectures and standards implemented by leading vendors will allow sub 1 meter indoor LBS accuracy. This is a new paradigm in LBS and will fuel myriads of use cases for consumers and industry. Watch this space carefully – opportunities abound.
★ Mobile / Wi-Fi convergence (offload) is back
This time around the technology is vastly better and the market increasingly ready to finally bring together Wi-Fi and mobile services into a single seamless fabric. It is a QoS improvement opportunity for ISPs – of course – and will boost the experience for subscribers.
★ The Wi-Fi IoT explosion – with Matter, and more
IoT is headed towards 27 billion devices in 2025 – and we contend Wi-Fi will be the winning means of connectivity. The new Matter standard for streamlining control and onboarding will be instrumental. The Wi-Fi standards – including Wi-Fi HaLow – are perfectly suited to deliver the full range of IoT applications for industry and consumers.
★ Wi-Fi sensing comes of age
Wi-Fi sensing is becoming a sub-industry in its own right with a handful of talented startups leading the way. Dozens of service providers – and many more in the pipeline – have already adopted the services that are becoming more accurate and useful every day. Sensing is a real revenue opportunity in the making.
★ 60 GHz reborn & going mainstream
60 GHz infrastructure (outdoor) radios are being deployed all over the world for fixed wireless access – in unlicensed spectrum – and now the time has also come for using 60 GHz for enterprise (indoor) backhaul. We’re only just scraping the surface of what this immense amount of free spectrum can do for ISPs and enterprises everywhere.
★ Disaggregating the Wi-Fi stack for growth & innovation
TIP OpenWiFi is disaggregating Wi-Fi enterprise and service provider infrastructure solutions to drive down cost and drive up innovation. The results are already springing up across the globe – and the momentum is promising. OpenWiFi is transforming how large-scale public Wi-Fi projects are designed and deployed. Watch this space.
We will be covering all of these and more – and you will get a chance to meet the actual industry leaders making this happen in Stockholm on September 26-27!
Make your plans now – click here to see our program and order your ticket.