Wi-Fi chipset shipments will soar to 18B in next 5 years, study says

Evolving Wi-Fi standards will converge with growing demand for devices that can receive wireless signals from multiple sites and lead to 18 billion Wi-Fi chipset shipments during the next five years, according to ABI Research.

The company based its determination on the fact that 2.6 billion chipsets will ship in 2014 and that "Wi-Fi is currently the most ubiquitous wireless connectivity technology for Internet access."

The demand for Wi-Fi is only expected to grow as the cable industry leads a drive to use Wi-Fi as a complement to existing mobile wireless services and, some believe, as their own mobile wireless foundation.

"There will be a roughly even split in 2019 for Wi-Fi chipsets of different integration levels," research director Philip Solis said in an ABI press release. "Standalone, or discrete, Wi-Fi chipset--increasingly targeting the Internet of Things--will be the largest group followed by integrated platforms with Wi-Fi targeting mobile devices, followed by Wi-Fi chipsets."

Another factor driving the growth is the evolution of Wi-Fi standards.

"Even as the industry starts to move this year from 802.11ax Wave 1 to Wave 2 chipsets that can support larger channels and MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi's evolution will not stop there," Solis added, noting that "the proliferation of Wi-Fi in the home will be supported by the technology's continued evolution."

Overall, the research said, Wi-Fi Direct-enabled products will lead the way in moving more Wi-Fi into the consumer space. These devices will include "ultraportable" PCs media tablets and traditional laptops.

The big Wi-Fi winner, though, "will be smartphones," the researchers concluded.

For more:
- see this press release

Related articles:
Cable's Wi-Fi ambitions are about much more than customer retention
Wi-Fi a must-have, cable CTOs say, with DOCSIS 3.1, 4K among top priorities
Cable execs say Wi-Fi is complementary to cellular ... for now
Comcast execs create, deflate Wi-Fi mobile network speculation

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