Industrial Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure forecast to 17% CAGR through 2030

Dec. 3, 2020
With faster speeds, improved security, and the ability to connect more end devices, Wi-Fi 6 technology can support the Industrial Internet of Things in a variety of environments, a new Guidehouse Insights report focused on the IIoT shows.
A new report from Guidehouse Insights examines the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how Wi-Fi 6 technology could be used in industrial environments.

According to the analyst, global investment in Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure in the industrial segments for factory, warehouse, transport, power plant, network operating center, mine, refinery, and oil well sites is expected to grow from $1.7 billion in 2021 to $6.9 billion in 2030 at a compound annual growth rate of 16.8%. 

As noted by the report's Executive Summary: 

Wi-Fi has long been pervasive in residential and enterprise settings as an affordable broadband wireless network capable of supporting a multitude of users with Internet connectivity and low-cost communications. Until now, however, Wi-Fi has not had the capacity, latency, reliability, or security necessary for many machine-to-machine applications in industrial environments. With the advent of Wi-Fi 6, that is changing.  

“The latest generation of Wi-Fi protocols, formerly known as 802.11ax but more simply called Wi-Fi 6, has a variety of technical upgrades supporting faster download and upload speeds, longer battery life, the ability to connect many more end devices, and improved security,” observes Richelle Elberg, principal research analyst with Guidehouse Insights. “As such, it has the potential to support the IIoT in a variety of harsh environments where Wi-Fi has historically been considered unsuitable.” 

The researcher states that North America and Europe, which have higher square footage and numbers of sites in many of the industrial segments as well as greater investment in IIoT technologies more broadly, are expected to lead the market going forward, particularly in the early years of the forecast.  

Notably, lower labor and equipment costs in Asia Pacific are expected to depress major investments in that region relative to North America and Europe in the early years of the forecast. Asia Pacific and Latin America are expected to show the highest growth rates. 

The new report, entitled Wi-Fi 6 and the IIoT, provides an overview of the IIoT and how Wi-Fi 6 technology may be used in industrial environments. It covers legacy and emerging use cases for connectivity in factories, warehouses, network operating centers (NOCs), power plants, refineries, oil and gas well pads, and mines.  

Further, the report describes the technical upgrades made in the latest Wi-Fi networking protocol and how it can affordably support digitalization in industrial settings. An overview of Wi-Fi 6 service and infrastructure providers is included, and market forecasts for industrial investment in Wi-Fi 6 networking infrastructure is provided by industrial segment and by global region through 2030.  

An executive summary of the report is available here for free download on the Guidehouse Insights website. 

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