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Wi-Fi 6 and 5G provide today's optimal wireless IoT connectivity

www.iottechnews.com, Nov. 21, 2022 – 

IoT innovations have seen increased adoption of Wi-Fi to support everything from factory robots to vending machines.

The increased throughput offered by Wi-Fi 6 is demonstrating how the technology can be applicable to a raft of use cases. In some situations, this makes Wi-Fi a more appealing connectivity option than cellular as it brings the same wireless benefits but at lower cost.

The central advantage of Wi-Fi 7 is that it offers an extremely high throughput utilizing the 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz frequency bands. The move to Wi-Fi 7 will see a substantial uplift in overall capacity alongside decreased latency and faster speeds.

Wi-Fi 7 represents a significant change over Wi-Fi 6, which itself offers fast connectivity. The specification suggests that Wi-Fi 7 will deliver a maximum speed of 46Gbps to a single client, which puts the already-fast 9.6Gbps offered by Wi-Fi 6 in the shade. However, the Wi-Fi 7 specification will not be finalized until 2024 and the technology is still under development.

Today, this leaves us with Wi-Fi 6 – which is no bad thing since the technology offers excellent options for connecting devices with relatively low latency, fast speed, high device density and a future upgrade path. In many respects, Wi-Fi 6 has set the stage for Wi-Fi 7 because it has created market recognition that Wi-Fi is an excellent option for many deployment scenarios.

Wi-Fi 6 is more than sufficient to support innovative use cases such as automated guided vehicles, industrial robots and many other applications. In indoor locations such as stadiums, large venues, offices and hotels, Wi-Fi 6 has attractive attributes. In addition, the technology is being utilized in the automotive industry to enable applications such as infotainment, monitoring, maintenance and upgrades by the manufacturer alongside greater personalization of vehicle features.

These strengths have seen Wi-Fi 6 adoption start to dominate deployments. IDC estimates that Wi-Fi 6 will account for 79% of all Wi-Fi product shipments within the next two years. The firm anticipates two billion Wi-Fi 6 device shipments in 2021, accounting for more than 50% of all Wi-Fi shipments. The firm expects to see more than 3.5 billion Wi-Fi 6 product shipments in 2022; with nearly 20% of all Wi-Fi 6 device shipments able to support 6 GHz this year.

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