Wi-Fi 6 Devices to Drive Growth in the Consumer Premises Equipment Market

According to ABI Research the Wi-Fi CPE (Consumer Premises Equipment) market which includes routers, gateways, whole-home mesh systems, access points, and Wi-Fi extenders will ship 221 million units in 2019. This demand for CPE Equipment is a result of the increasing worldwide broadband penetration, combined with the adoption of multiple connected devices, bandwidth-intensive, and low latency applications in each household, continuously driving the demand for efficient Wi-Fi devices. 

Many applications, including video streaming, gaming, and smart home applications, are simultaneously used by home broadband users from multiple devices. As gigabit-speed broadband services are already available to many residential broadband users, consumers are increasingly demanding faster whole-home Wi-Fi coverage with reliable, high throughput. Device makers have introduced Wi-Fi mesh systems to support whole-home Wi-Fi coverage which is now gaining ground in many markets. Service providers, including AT&T, Cox Communications, British Telecom, and Talk Talk, have launched Wi-Fi mesh systems to their broadband customers to support whole-home Wi-Fi experience. 

802.11 ax, commonly known as Wi-Fi 6, is the next Wi-Fi standard that has started to gain traction in the Wi-Fi CPE market. Supported by key features such as OFDMA, 8x8 MU-MIMO, Wi-Fi 6 can provide a peak data rate up to 10 Gbps. Wi-Fi routers, gateways, and access points supporting Wi-Fi 6 has hit the market over the past one year. Device makers are also increasingly leveraging Wi-Fi 6 to mesh systems to provide excellent whole-home Wi-Fi experience. Wi-Fi CPE vendors such as ARRIS, TP-Link, and Netgear have announced Wi-Fi mesh systems supporting Wi-Fi 6. For higher efficiency supported by Wi-Fi 6, networking devices with the standard are expected to gain momentum in the next two years in both retail and service provider segments. 

For service providers, the ability to support better home Wi-Fi networks is vital for reducing operational cost and reduce churn. Partnerships with CPE vendors to offer next-generation Wi-Fi CPE while expanding gigabit network coverage is essential for service providers. Strategies such as integration of the latest Wi-Fi standards into broadband CPE, leveraging smart home applications and features such as voice-control platforms can help service providers differentiate their services from competitors. Whole-home Wi-Fi mesh systems and devices supporting higher Wi-Fi standards are expected to boost the Wi-Fi CPE market growth in the next five years. ABI Research forecasts that a total of 254 million Wi-Fi CPE units will be shipped in 2024 with more than half of them supporting Wi-Fi 6. 

These findings are from ABI Research’s Set-top Boxes and Broadband CPE market data report. This report is part of the company’s Video & Cloud Services research service, which includes research, data, and analyst insights.

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