Standard Power 6 GHz spectrum, Wi-Fi 7, and 5G Interoperability to Spur OT Wi-Fi Innovation as Industrial WLAN APs rise 59% by 2028

15 Mar 2023

New unlicensed spectrum, standard power 6 Gigahertz (GHz), and Wi-Fi 7 will unleash a new era of industrial 802.11, enabling the technology to finally satisfy the low-latency, high-throughput requirements of mission-critical Operational Technology (OT) applications. ABI Research, a global technology intelligence firm, forecasts that global deployments leveraging the newly available Standard Power 6 GHz APs will multiply almost six-fold between 2024 and 2028, from just over 52,000 to more than 0.3 million. Automated Frequency Control (AFC) Systems certification will facilitate the rollout. These database lookup schemes enable higher power transmissions by preventing interference with incumbents by national regulators worldwide beginning in 2023.

“AFC Systems are especially vital for industrial environments not only because mission-critical applications demand the higher power 36 dBm transmissions, but also because they will permit the finely tuned external antennas that OT requires for optimal operation and avoidance of interference hazards,” says Andrew Spivey, Industry Analyst at ABI Research. “One consequence of the resultant performance and range boosts of Standard Power 6 GHz will be the partial diminishing of 5G’s advantages over Wi-Fi in OT environments.”

The advances brought by Wi-Fi 7 and Standard Power 6 GHz will drive the adoption of Industrial Manufacturing WLAN Aps. ABI Research forecasts annual shipment growth from 3.5 million in 2022 to 5.5 million in 2028. Major Vendors in the Industrial WLAN market include the likes of Siemens and Moxa, with Enterprise WLAN leaders Cisco and Aruba continuing to service the industrial market. These next-generation high-performance WLAN APs will not only support emerging use cases like Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) but also allow machines that have traditionally relied on Ethernet to finally transition to 802.11, helping to reduce network installation costs, operational complexity, maintenance requirements, and the physical footprint. The industrial manufacturing and logistics verticals are desperate for the additional capacity of 6 GHz, and so will be the first OT sectors to adopt 6 GHz-compatible equipment. The mining and oil & gas sectors are comparatively less congested, therefore, will migrate later.

Industry business models are also transforming as OT clients prefer Network-as-a-Service (NaaS) solutions. NaaS models are favored over outright ownership because they offer reduced financial risk, rapid deployment, greater scalability, and negate the need to expand headcount or train staff on new complex equipment. Drivers of this interest are more significant short-term financial pressures, labor shortages, and the fact that the ecosystem has now developed sufficiently to support these offerings. Part of this development is advancements in industrial Network Management Systems (NMSs), which enable the centralized, remote management of dispersed networks powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) automation.

“Strategic partnerships across the entire value chain – from the system integrators delivering NaaS solutions to the AFC System Operators enabling Standard Power 6 GHz operations – are becoming increasingly important for ecosystem vendors,” adds Spivey. “The strengths of these partnerships will ultimately determine a vendor’s ability to deliver end-to-end solutions to their clients, and thus will become a strong vendor differentiator going forward.”

These findings are from ABI Research’s Next Generation Industrial WLAN in OT Environments application analysis report. This report is part of the company’s Wi-Fi, Bluetooth & Wireless Connectivity research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights. Based on extensive primary interviews, Application Analysis reports present an in-depth analysis of key market trends and factors for a specific technology.


About ABI Research

ABI Research is a global technology intelligence firm delivering actionable research and strategic guidance to technology leaders, innovators, and decision makers around the world. Our research focuses on the transformative technologies that are dramatically reshaping industries, economies, and workforces today.

ABI Research提供开创性的研究和战略指导,帮助客户了解日新月异的技术。 自1990年以来,我们已与全球数百个领先的技术品牌,尖端公司,具有远见的政府机构以及创新的贸易团体建立了合作关系。 我们帮助客户创造真实的业务成果。

For more information about ABI Research’s services, contact us at +1.516.624.2500 in the Americas, +44.203.326.0140 in Europe, +65.6592.0290 in Asia-Pacific, or visit

Contact ABI Research

Media Contacts

Americas: +1.516.624.2542
Europe: +44.(0).203.326.0142
Asia: +65 6950.5670

Related Research

Related Service