A IHS Markit report said the cumulative spending on carrier Wi-Fi equipment between 2018 and 2022 will be $3.5 billion – fuelled by 5G investment.
The carrier Wi-Fi equipment revenue rose 1.3 percent to $626 million in 2017, driven by broadband demand and a strong role within 5G era.
The carrier Wi-Fi equipment market will touch $725 million by 2022 — a cumulative size of over $3.5 billion from 2018 to 2022.
There are two growth drivers. First, fixed-line operators will be spending on standalone Wi-Fi access points, triggering the growth in the global carrier Wi-Fi equipment market.
Second, mobile operators will be spending on wireless ISPs and dual mode Wi-Fi/cellular access points.
Asia Pacific region will be the strongest driver of growth considering the scale of requests for proposals (RFPs) from mobile operators.
China and Indonesia are already driving the growth. China Mobile and China Unicom and China Telecom are the key telecom operators in China. Indonesian telecom market is dominated by Telkomsel, Indosat, XL Axiata, among others.
India’s carrier Wi-Fi equipment market is likely to swell closer to 2022. Main operators in India include Bharti Airtel, BSNL, Idea Cellular, Vodafone and Reliance Jio.
“The 5G era will transform network architectures, but the requirements for network density mean that Wi-Fi will continue to play a strong support role for mobile broadband end-users and for newer applications such as the Internet of Things and smart city,” said Richard Webb, director of research and analysis for service provider technology at IHS Markit.
Telecom operators and enterprises in all regions will be spending on Wi-Fi, demonstrating evidence of proliferation in developing countries in addition to developed markets where mobile data growth is well documented.
The report said dual mode 3G / Wi-Fi equipment revenue fell 66.4 percent to $17 million in 2017.
SIM–based Wi-Fi access points achieved 21.6 percent growth in 2017, driven by the desire to have closer integration between Wi-Fi and the mobile network.
Both fixed and mobile operators will benefit from network functions virtualization (NFV) due to Opex and Capex efficiencies, service flexibility and creation, reduced power usage and new service environments, including data analytics and location-based services.