Wi-Fi® global economic value reaches $1.96 trillion in 2018

New study projects increasing Wi-Fi economic contribution in next five years

Austin, TX – October 9, 2018 – A new report commissioned by Wi-Fi Alliance® estimates the current annual global economic value of Wi-Fi® at $1.96 trillion, projecting that number to surpass $3.47 trillion by 2023. Wi-Fi brings the greatest impact to the economy in four key categories: developing alternative technologies to expand consumer choice, creating innovative business models to deliver unique services, expanding access to communications services for fixed and mobile networks, and complementing wireline and cellular technologies to enhance their effectiveness. In addition to determining Wi-Fi’s global impact, the study evaluates individual economies of six countries, highlighting the incredible value of Wi-Fi and underscoring the need for adequate unlicensed spectrum to ensure Wi-Fi continues to deliver benefits to consumers, business, and economies.

Key findings of the report include:

  • United States: Wi-Fi contributes $499 billion in economic value today, $993 billion by 2023
  • United Kingdom: Wi-Fi contributes $54 billion in economic value today, $71 billion by 2023
  • France: Wi-Fi contributes $44 billion in economic value today, $64 billion by 2023
  • Germany: Wi-Fi contributes $94 billion in economic value today, $132 billion by 2023
  • Japan: Wi-Fi contributes $171 billion in economic value today, $248 billion by 2023
  • South Korea: Wi-Fi contributes $68 billion in economic value today, $138 billion by 2023

“Wi-Fi has a powerful and often underestimated economic impact all over the world,“ said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “This study brings attention to the tremendous economic benefit from Wi-Fi, and underscores the importance of favorable spectrum policy to ensure Wi-Fi continues delivering even greater economic and societal benefits for many years to come.”

Consumers and business depend on Wi-Fi for connectivity, productivity, and critical operations each day, but the true economic value of Wi-Fi has been difficult to define due to diverse unlicensed spectrum environments. The study defines economic value by looking at the tangible, economic gains that Wi-Fi provides consumers and producers, and net contribution to Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The study also estimates Wi-Fi’s role in job creation in each country through a valuation of its impact on different categories of employment.

“Wi-Fi technology should be recognized as one of the dominant economic engines of the digital ecosystem,” said Dr. Raul Katz, Wi-Fi Economic Study author and President of Telecom Advisory Services. “Governments should develop the right incentives to stimulate the social and economic benefits of Wi-Fi, including assigning enough spectrum to avoid congestion across the globe, promoting the development of start-ups that rely on Wi-Fi to create applications, and leveraging Wi‑Fi technology to address the digital divide barrier.”

Please visit www.valueofwifi.com for more information and to download the full report.

Note on methodology

Wi-Fi Alliance® commissioned a study from Telecom Advisory Services (TAS), headed by economist Dr. Raul Katz, to analyze the economic contribution of Wi-Fi in 2018 and forecast expected economic value in 2023. The study, which also estimates global value and job creation attributed to Wi-Fi, focuses on six world economies, and then calculates an estimated global value. The countries studied are the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, and South Korea. 

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 40,000 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:
Stephanie Burke
Highwire PR for Wi-Fi Alliance
+1-646-838-1190 ext. 48