July 21, 2020 by Greg Owens

Growth of Wi-Fi 6 Devices Expected to Explode—Will You Be Ready?


The new Wi-Fi 6 standard made its debut in the second half of 2019, but not all of the benefits could be realized owing to a shortage of Wi-Fi 6 compliant user devices. In the past few months, however, that is changing as more and more of the top manufacturers are bringing new Wi-Fi 6 devices to market, including PCs and laptops, smartphones, tablets and a wide variety of smart home devices. 

This latest release from the IEEE has a slightly different focus than its predecessors. While those earlier releases were all about peak speeds that could theoretically be achieved under optimum conditions, a key goal of Wi-Fi 6 is to help users enjoy improved Wi-Fi speed and performance in real-world conditions. And why not? When it comes to Wi-Fi today, the real-world doesn’t offer optimum conditions.

Take interference, for example. For those of us who live in dense urban environments, interference from nearby Wi-Fi networks is a fact of life, and it can often have a negative impact on our Wi-Fi experience. This is exactly the kind of challenge that the new standard is designed to address.

In terms of the key features and benefits of Wi-Fi 6, you’re probably already somewhat familiar with what it has to offer, but here’s a quick summary.

Not surprisingly, Wi-Fi 6 is fast, with support for data rates that are as much as 37 percent faster than Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). It also provides several new features, such as multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO), which increase throughput by up to 4 times that of Wi-Fi 5 and improve Wi-Fi network coverage by as much as 30 percent.

These are powerful benefits that your subscribers want and need. And that’s why device manufacturers, including Calix, are getting on board and bringing Wi-Fi 6 into the mainstream. Calix GigaSpire BLAST u6 systems provide full support for Wi-Fi 6 today and are Wi-Fi 6 certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

Here’s a summary of some of the devices with Wi-Fi 6 support that are currently available for purchase from leading manufacturers:

  • Personal computers and laptops: Asus, Dell, HP, Lenovo, and LG
  • Smartphones: Samsung, Apple, LG, and Motorola
  • Tablets: Apple with the 2020 iPad Pro
  • Smart home devices: smart TVs from Samsung

This is just the tip of the iceberg. By the end of 2020, Wi-Fi 6 chipset shipments worldwide are expected to reach 1.5 billion units, which accounts for roughly 30% of the Wi-Fi devices sold globally in 2020[1]. And, in terms of market size, the value of Wi-Fi devices sold continues to grow with sales projected to reach $26 billion in 2026, up from $5.96 billion in 2018.

So, if you’re considering when to start rolling out carrier-grade Wi-Fi 6 hardware to your subscribers, that time is now.

To learn more about the features of Wi-Fi 6 and the benefits to your business, download our latest white paper, Improving Wi-Fi capacity and efficiency in the Connected Home with Wi-Fi 6.


[1] Source: IDC Research, February 2019; https://www.displaydaily.com/article/display-daily/wi-fi-6-is-coming-to-a-device-near-you