/Smartphones driving WiFi enablement in India. 1 in every 3 WiFi enabled devices was a Smartphone in 2018

Smartphones driving WiFi enablement in India. 1 in every 3 WiFi enabled devices was a Smartphone in 2018

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India sold over 204 million WiFi enabled consumer devices.  Over 72% of devices sold were WiFi 4 capable. WiFi 5 picking up fast while WiFi 6 enabled devices have already been introduced in the market.

 WiFi enabled devices sale is expected to grow at 8% in 2019 with sales touching 221 million units primarily led by Smart and Connected devices for Home and Office automation.

WiFi is increasingly contributing in enabling the wireless broadband connectivity in India.  In 2018, 204.5 million WiFi enabled consumer devices were sold with mobile phones contributing close to 90% of these sales.

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In terms of active user base, techARC estimates India is having close to 600 million consumer devices being used by users for communication, productivity, entertainment and other smart and connected use cases.

The future lies in wireless highspeed connectivity and WiFi offers one of the most reliable and affordable alternatives to it.

We have seen so far WiFi enablement through legacy IT and communications devices like Laptops, Routers and Smartphones. This is now shifting to other consumer electronics like TVs, Lighting, ACs, Refrigerators. At the same time,it’salso penetrating into automobiles as well as other traditionally dumb IT peripherals like storage devices.

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At the same time the good thing is that the devices being sold are conforming to the latest WiFi standards which allows higher throughput as well as better security management of data as well as the device. In India, all WiFi enabled devices sold in 2018 were based on WiFi 4 or WiFi 5 standards.

Outlook

  • The market will move towards WiFi 5 in 2019 and its expected that the contribution of WiFi 5 devices will more than double by the year end. India is estimated to sell more than 70% of WiFi enabled devices based on WiFi 5 standard.
  • Though, WiFi 6 enabled devices, primarily Smartphones are already launched and we are expecting to see some more flagships being launched supporting this standard, the actual enablement would happen only in the 1st quarter of 2020. However, consumer CPE (routers and access points) would also be required to be changed for experiencing the latest standard of WiFi.
  • Smartphones will continue to lead the WiFi enabled devices by installed base. However, the growth will be seen more in Smart TVs including Streaming Devices as well as other Home automation / Smart Devices leveraging WiFi connectivity.
  • WiFi enables a great opportunity for Make in India, especially on CPE and other devices which do not include complicated design and manufacturing capabilities like display, etc.
  • There is a need to implement standardisation across WiFi devices to ensure QoS and Security.
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