Mass adoption of Wi-Fi 6/6E by 2022

Wednesday, 06 October, 2021

Mass adoption of Wi-Fi 6/6E by 2022

The latest cross-industry survey suggests that 83% of service providers and equipment manufacturers will deploy Wi-Fi 6/6E by 2022.

The findings, released by the Wireless Broadband Alliance as part of the WBA Annual Industry Report 2022, highlight how 6 GHz spectrum will enable Wi-Fi to support even more users and new use cases, such as time-sensitive networking (TSN) for Industry 4.0 applications.

58% of respondents said 6 GHz was critical or very important to their strategy. This outlook reflects the rapid growth in both global harmonisation and device selection:

  • 41 countries, representing 54% of world GDP, have authorised 6 GHz for use.
  • More than 338 million Wi-Fi 6E devices will enter the market this year.
  • Nearly 20% of all Wi-Fi 6 device shipments will support 6 GHz by 2022.

The new report includes updates on a variety of technologies, amendments and initiatives, including 5G convergence and Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be). Also known as extremely high throughput (EHT), Wi-Fi 7 is projected to support up to 30 Gbps throughput, about three times faster than Wi-Fi 6. WBA expects Wi-Fi 7 devices to make their market debut in 2025.

The report also quantifies global momentum for WBA OpenRoaming, which enables users to connect automatically and securely to millions of Wi-Fi networks around the world — and without the need for logins, registrations or passwords. Respondents said roaming is the second most important Wi-Fi capability for commercial success, especially for smart city environments.

  • 40% of respondents have implemented Passpoint/OpenRoaming, or plan to do so before the end of 2022.
  • 70% of respondents involved in a city-wide public Wi-Fi network, or who plan to be, will support city-wide roaming, joining several municipalities across Europe that have implemented it.

“Service providers, equipment manufacturers and enterprises worldwide see more value than ever in Wi-Fi,” said Tiago Rodrigues, WBA CEO.

“Despite all of the uncertainty due to the pandemic, 56% of respondents said they were more confident about investing in Wi-Fi than they were a year ago. This confidence also shows up in the number of WBA members participating in various projects — an increase of 15% compared to 2020 — and the record 20 projects in development or already in progress. One example is their strong interest in the convergence of 5G and Wi-Fi 6, including how mobile operators can leverage Wi-Fi as part of their 5G strategy in terms of maximising coverage and capacity.”

The 2022 Wi-Fi Market Report is written by Analysts, Maravedis and Rethink, and published by the Wireless Broadband Alliance. It is available for download at

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