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Wi-Fi 7 on Fast Track with 50% of organisations live in 2024

Wi-Fi 6, 6E, and 7 top the list of wireless technologies that network operators, ISPs, device and chipset vendors, enterprises, and other companies plan to deploy by the end of 2024, ahead of CBRS, DAS, and private 4G/5G.

Furthermore, confidence in investment across the sector is rising with 58 per cent saying they are more confident in investing in Wi-Fi compared to a year ago even though the business model remains the most pressing challenge for new deployments. 6GHz spectrum availability also remains front of mind with two-thirds deeming it an important issue for 2024.

Those are two key findings from the latest cross-industry report by the Wireless Broadband Alliance, the global industry body dedicated to improving Wi-Fi standards and services. Based on input from 200 enterprises, governments, fixed and mobile operators, vendors, and other organisations worldwide, the WBA Annual Industry Report 2024 showcases how Wi-Fi technology continues to evolve in ways that anticipate the needs of consumers, businesses, enterprise verticals, smart cities, and service providers.

Highlights from the report’s other key findings include:

  • Over 41% of respondents plan to deploy Wi-Fi 7 by the end of 2024. That amount is in addition to the 7.5% that already have.
  • By the end of 2024, over 47% of respondents plan to add WBA OpenRoaming or Passpoint to a new or existing Wi-Fi network.
  • Enabling seamless interoperability between Wi-Fi and LTE/5G is the top reason for deploying WBA OpenRoaming. This feedback shows that the marketplace perceives the relationship between Wi-Fi and mobile as symbiotic rather than adversarial.

Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance said, “market momentum is a theme in many of the key findings. For example, 58 per cent are more confident in investing in Wi-Fi now than a year ago, up from 46 per cent last year. Specifically, survey respondents are stepping up investment in WBA OpenRoaming, Wi-Fi 7, and city-wide public Wi-Fi. As WBA celebrates its 20th anniversary, we look forward to the next 20 years of pioneering even more Wi-Fi technologies and use cases and developing a robust trails programme for W-Fi 7 to take innovation into 2024 and beyond.”

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