In 1Q 2013, 43.3 million units of consumer Wi-Fi equipment, including access points, routers, gateways and network interface cards were shipped. 802.11n protocol accounts for more than two thirds of total shipment. It was noticeable that newer 802.11ac standard-based devices have started to enter Wi-Fi market.
Currently chipset manufacturers Broadcom, Qualcomm and Intel have started the production of 802.11ac chips. NETGEAR, Cisco and Aruba Networks are among the first 802.11ac equipment manufacturers. According to ABI Research’s Wi-Fi equipment market data, 0.2 million 802.11ac devices were shipped in the first quarter of 2013.
Advancements in wave 1 of 802.11ac standard will provide maximum data rate of up to 1.3 Gbps and in wave 2, maximum data rate will be 6.9 Gbps. The new protocol is likely to fulfil ever growing bandwidth requirement to stream HD programming, gaming, etc. More 802.11ac capable products are expected to be announced in early next year after the final ratification of protocol by IEEE which is planned for probably by the end of 2013.