Wi-Fi Alliance® celebrates 20 years of Wi-Fi®

Interoperability is foundation of Wi-Fi’s success story

Austin, TX and Washington D.C. – June 4, 2019 – Wi-Fi® is one of the most pervasive technologies around the world, with an installed base of more than 13 billion devices and more than four billion Wi-Fi devices shipping in 2019 alone. This year marks #20yearsofwifi and together with its nearly 800 member companies, Wi-Fi Alliance® is celebrating Wi-Fi as one of the greatest technology success stories of the high-tech era. Wi-Fi’s success story was built on a foundation of interoperability, driven forward by Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ programs. Wi-Fi’s energetic community including engineers, executives, semiconductor and device manufacturers, venue owners, and operators working together in Wi-Fi Alliance have also contributed to key moments in history that have propelled Wi-Fi’s evolution.

Wi-Fi origin
Wi-Fi Alliance was established in 1999 as a global organization to provide multi-vendor interoperability for wireless networking products and to bring a better and more consistent connectivity experience. The term “Wi-Fi” and its familiar yin-yang logo were coined by Wi-Fi Alliance shortly after to establish a consumer-friendly way to distinguish this new and better experience with wireless networking products. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ was established to indicate products that passed interoperability requirements from Wi-Fi Alliance. The Wi-Fi term quickly began solidifying mainstream consumer acceptance and was added to the Merriam Webster dictionary and was widely used in major languages around the world in 2005.

Wi-Fi popularity quickly grew as a result of the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED program. Today, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED is an internationally recognized seal of approval with more than 45,000 certifications. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED products have undergone rigorous testing and provide assurances of interoperability. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo now appears on consumer products worldwide, and products bearing the logo deliver interoperability, industry-standard security protections, and easy setup and management.

“Since its founding twenty years ago, Wi-Fi Alliance has been where the Wi-Fi ecosystem comes together to determine where Wi-Fi goes next,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Our collaboration has resulted in the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED portfolio expanding to address new use cases and satisfy demands across a broad range of industries, ultimately making Wi-Fi an essential tool in everyday life. Few technologies have been able to achieve the success and scale of Wi-Fi.”

Wi-Fi Alliance role in pervasive Wi-Fi
Beyond interoperability, Wi-Fi Alliance has contributed to several areas that have enabled Wi-Fi to become a great success story: 

  • Evolving security protocols: Wi-Fi Alliance established Wi-Fi Protected Access® as a standards-based, interoperable security framework to provide an unprecedented level of Wi-Fi security required in all Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices. Wi-Fi Protected Access has expanded to include stronger protections and new practices as the security landscape changes. The continual evolution of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED ensures devices remain protected against ongoing security threats.
  • Ubiquity in consumer electronics: Wi-Fi CERTIFIED has enabled the industry to connect an ever expanding range of consumer electronics devices, from mobile phones and 4K Ultra HD televisions, to home thermostats and doorbells. Wi-Fi Alliance has been critical in expanding Wi-Fi’s technology portfolio to offer a range of benefits across high performance and low power devices using a standardized, interoperable approach.
  • Consumer-friendly naming scheme: Wi-Fi Alliance introduced a new consumer-friendly naming approach that provides users an easy-to-understand designation for Wi-Fi technology. The naming convention helps Wi-Fi users identify their device and network generation using Wi-Fi 4, Wi-Fi 5, and Wi-Fi 6.

Please help us celebrate #20yearsofwifi by visiting www.20yearsofwifi.com.

About Wi-Fi Alliance®
Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 45,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.

Media contacts: 
Andrea Torres
Highwire PR for Wi-Fi Alliance
+1-415-963-4174 ext. 13