The worldwide consumer Wi-Fi equipment market increased 5% in 2014, surpassing 166.1 million unit shipments. “Shipments of devices which support the 802.11ac standard grew significantly in 2014, representing more than 11% of total access point shipments,” says Jake Saunders, VP and Practice Director, ABI Research.
Since 802.11ac device shipments started to accelerate, the market share of devices with older generation Wi-Fi standards has started to decline. “In 2014, total shipments of consumer Wi-Fi devices with the 802.11n standard declined 3% from 2013. New generation 802.11ac products are expected to gain market share in the years to come. ABI Research expects that nearly 71 million 802.11ac access points will be shipped in 2015,” adds Khin Sandi Lynn, Industry Analyst.
The next Wi-Fi standard likely to enter the market is 802.11ad which can provide up to 7 Gbps. Leading Wi-Fi chipset manufacturer, Qualcomm, has recently demonstrated its newer Wi-Fi solutions which support tri-band, 802.11ad (60 GHz), and 802.11ac (5 GHz and 2.4 GHz). According to Qualcomm, the tri-band access point is likely to be shipped in 2H 2015.
In the enterprise Wi-Fi market, 10.5 million access points were shipped in 2014, an 11% increase from 2013. The enterprise class Wi-Fi access point market is expected to surpass 19.4 million unit shipments in 2020. Consumer Wi-Fi devices shipments are expected to reach 219 million in 2020 with a faster growth in residential gateway shipments compared to access points and Wi-Fi routers. Total consumer Wi-Fi equipment is expected to generate US$13.5 billion in 2020.
ABI Research’s study on Wi-Fi Customer Premise Equipment covers the worldwide consumer and enterprise WLAN equipment market. The report tracks equipment by product type, wireless protocol, and geography.The report contains market shares of leading WLAN equipment manufacturers worldwide based on quarterly shipment data and forecasts.
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