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802.11AX and the Future of Wi-Fi

The race to IEEE 802.11ax Wi-Fi is on. The new standard seeks to build upon 802.11ac while incorporating additional features to enhance wireless performance in dense deployment scenarios. In contrast to previous Wi-Fi standards that emphasize peak throughput, 802.11ax is designed around expanding capacity, extending coverage, and enhancing the overall user experience, particularly in crowded environments. The enormous growth in Wi-Fi-enabled devices, increased traffic demands, cellular offloading, higher density Wi-Fi deployments, growing use of outdoor Wi-Fi, heterogeneous device and traffic types, and a desire for more power efficiency are all major driving forces behind 802.11ax’s introduction. 
 
This report outlines the major market drivers and technical enhancements brought about by 802.11ax, highlights key challenges that chipset vendors, OEMs, and implementers will face, and provides strategic recommendations on how to build a strong ecosystem of 802.11ax APs and client device. The report also provides up to date market forecasts for total 802.11ax chipsets by vertical market, in addition to a discussion around pre-standard chipsets and vendor profiles from a range of Wi-Fi chipset suppliers including Broadcom, Celeno, Intel, Qualcomm, Quantenna, Marvell, MediaTek, and others. 
 

 

Table of Contents

  • 1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
    • 1.1. STRATEGIC RECOMMENDATIONS
  • 2. 802.11AX: A RECAP
  • 3. 802.11AX MARKET DRIVERS
  • 4. USE CASES
  • 5. KEY TECHNOLOGICAL FEATURES AND ENHANCEMENTS
  • 6. 802.11AX MARKET CHALLENGES
  • 7. 802.11AX-READY ECOSYSTEM
    • 7.1. ACCESS POINTS
    • 7.2. SMARTPHONES
    • 7.3. OTHER CLIENTS
    • 7.4. OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES WITH PRE-STANDARD CHIPSETS
    • 7.5. MARKET FORECASTS
  • 8. 802.11AX-READY CHIPSET VENDOR PROFILES
    • 8.1. BROADCOM
    • 8.2. CELENO
    • 8.3. INTEL
    • 8.4. QUALCOMM
    • 8.5. QUANTENNA
    • 8.6. MARVELL
    • 8.7. MEDIATEK
    • 8.8. SPREADTRUM
    • 8.9. OTHER VENDORS
  • 9. CONCLUSIONS AND KEY TAKEAWAYS