Wi-Fi® industry leaders offer insights about the year ahead
Many recent advancements in Wi-Fi® have set the stage for optimism about its evolving role in our personal and professional lives. In recent conversations with Wi-Fi Alliance® member companies at #CES2023, common themes such as Internet of Things (IoT), new Wi-Fi generations offering access to the 6 GHz band, and a robust, evolving portfolio of capabilities have industry leaders excited about Wi-Fi’s impact in the coming year. Wi-Fi Alliance has captured these trends in a series of videos that reflects industry excitement for Wi-Fi in 2023. Here are the top Wi-Fi trends we heard from Wi-Fi Alliance members at CES 2023:
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ evolves Wi-Fi’s role in Internet of Things
It is clear that many members across multiple industries are excited about the benefits of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6® for IoT. Wi-Fi 6 solves many previous challenges seen in IoT deployments. For instance, power consumption has limited IoT device capabilities because they frequently need to operate for a long time without connection to a power source. Wi-Fi 6 delivers improved power efficiency by introducing a feature called Target Wake Time (TWT) that allows devices to reduce the amount of time they need to be awake, significantly improving network efficiency and device battery life (see video). Features such as TWT will enable broader adoption of Wi-Fi in home and industrial IoT environments.
Matter, a unified standard that connects compatible smart devices and ecosystems with one another, was a major theme seen across the CES show floor. Together, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ and Matter brands give consumers and businesses confidence that their IoT products will deliver positive, secure experiences — and as a result, in 2023 members expect to see Matter over Wi-Fi support increase sales volumes, allow manufacturers to stock fewer SKUs, and simplify product lines. As more Matter devices over Wi-Fi become increasingly available, they will bring an elevated level of simplicity and reliability to the IoT market and promote the transition to a fully connected society, even powering technologies at the edge of IoT such as artificial intelligence (AI), which uses Wi-Fi to span various use cases including agricultural, industrial, robotics, and more (see video).
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED HaLow™ is a Wi-Fi solution designed to support IoT use cases. Wi-Fi Alliance members are excited to see broader deployment of Wi-Fi HaLow™ in 2023 and are expecting to see Wi-Fi HaLow replace other connectivity technologies. By deploying Wi-Fi HaLow — augmenting Wi-Fi by operating in sub-1 GHz spectrum — we will see long range, low power connectivity that benefits applications such as sensor networks and wearables require while also facilitating a more comprehensive approach to wireless connectivity as part of the Wi-Fi portfolio. Because of Wi-Fi HaLow’s ability to penetrate through walls and operate in low power devices, members highlight that it supports use cases such as security cameras, which can run vision sensing technology to come online when detecting movement in a retail environment or shop floor (see video). Members also emphasize that Wi-Fi HaLow is preferable to other long-range technologies by offering secure, high bandwidth connectivity over distances up to 1 kilometer (km). Members noted that these benefits allow users to switch from wired internet connections to Wi-Fi, drastically reducing the labor required to set up and maintain low power system (see video). Finally, members are expecting to see support for Matter over Wi-Fi HaLow as well.
The latest Wi-Fi generations make global impact
Gaming, high-definition video conferencing, and augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) all belong to a new era of intensive Wi-Fi use cases requiring high levels of performance. Hybrid work environments are becoming more and more demanding, and members see Wi-Fi 6E as playing a key role in supporting interactions between employees through video conferencing, streaming of content, and Wi-Fi calling. With the 6 GHz band now available in more than 60 countries and allowing the utilization of 14 additional 80 megahertz (MHz) channels or up to seven superwide 160 MHz channels, members see the adoption of Wi-Fi 6E continuing at a rapid rate in 2023 (see video). Wi-Fi Alliance members are excited about the various ways 6 GHz will alleviate congestion in crowded areas such as stadiums and amphitheaters and how the technology and increasing global availability will bring gigabit speeds, extremely low latency, and high capacity to more crowded, dense public areas such as education campuses and healthcare facilities.
In 2023, the rollout of Wi-Fi 6E will further increase Wi-Fi’s economic value contributions — in fact, between 2020-2025, unlicensed use of the 6 GHz band, which includes Wi-Fi, will provide an estimated value of $153.76 billion to the US economy. Members emphasize that AI in particular will rely heavily on Wi-Fi 6E and access to the 6 GHz band, as this technology leverages low latency to blend data sets in real time. In addition to accelerated adoption of Wi-Fi 6E, this year will see continued momentum around Wi-Fi 7. Among many benefits, members are looking forward to a marquee Wi-Fi 7 capability — Multi Link Operation — which enables devices to simultaneously send and receive data across different frequency bands and channels (see video).
Wi-Fi enhancements improve end user experiences
2022 will see an accelerated adoption of new services and applications (see video). Making a product Wi-Fi CERTIFIED helps ensure a device will deliver a secure and interoperable experience, and the evolving Wi-Fi CERTIFIED portfolio will deliver new capabilities to support Wi-Fi applications and use cases in various environments in 2023. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh® links multiple access points (APs) together to form a unified network that guides devices to the AP that provides the best Wi-Fi service for that device. Members expect to see the adoption of Wi-Fi EasyMesh™ to accelerate in 2023. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management™ is also seen as an increasingly important component of Wi-Fi networks, allowing devices, applications, and network managers to prioritize traffic flows. Members say this QoS solution will see greater adoption in 2023 to help manage the quality of experience for end users and provide a good return on investment for service providers by increasing their ability to differentiate themselves in the market.
2023 will be an outstanding year for Wi-Fi
With all the new technologies that have just arrived or will be arriving in 2023, Wi-Fi Alliance is excited to create more opportunities for enhanced interoperability, performance, and security with Wi-Fi devices. With Wi-Fi 7 gaining momentum in 2023 and testing work underway in Wi-Fi Alliance, among many other solution enhancements, this will undoubtedly be a year of better user experiences and new capabilities.
For more insight into 2023 Wi-Fi trends from Wi-Fi Alliance members, check out our 2023 Wi-Fi trends videos from Airties, DZS, Infineon Technologies, Newracom, Qualcomm, Silicon Labs, and Tuya Smart by visiting Wi-Fi Alliance’s YouTube channel.
 Telecom Advisory Services, 2020