While 5G continues to occupy 90% of the industry’s focus, Wi-Fi is quietly entrenching its role for consumers, especially in the home. It is central to media consumption and domestic IoT. In its 20th anniversary year, how will the new WiFi6 - along with whole-home meshes - make it even harder to displace? And how should telcos and others play?
This briefing, part of the Network Futures and (Re-)Connecting with Consumers research streams examines the connectivity and network options for the home – especially looking at the role of Wi-Fi (and its newest evolution, Wi-Fi 6) within the home and other consumer spaces, as a platform for connecting smartphones, PCs, IoT devices, and entertainment/media systems.
It build on the report exploring how telcos could play a coordination role in the smart home market in January 2019 (Can telcos create a compelling smart home?) with a focus on security and remote-management of assets in the home.
This report focuses primarily on developed markets (and China) in which most homes have a fixed-line connection. In developing countries where fixed-lines are scarce, Wi-Fi also plays an important background role, albeit within the constraints imposed by the more limited bandwidth available via cellular or fixed wireless connections to the Internet.
In developed markets, homes now commonly have between five and 20 Wi-Fi enabled endpoints.