Wi-Fi is a technology based on the IEEE 802.11 standard which connects two or more devices using wireless communication within a limited area such as office building, school, home, or computer laboratory. Usage of Wi-Fi has increased significantly in residential and commercial places since the last several years due to the ease of its installation and operation. Currently, a number of devices including video-game consoles, digital cameras, digital audio players, digital printers, smart TVs, tablets, phones, and personal computers are available with built-in Wi-Fi technology. These devices can connect to the internet with the help of wireless access point or wireless LAN (Local Area Network) and can provide control and monitoring of a system from a remote location. Wi-Fi chipsets usually operate in 2.4 gigahertz UHF (Ultra High Frequency) band and 5.8 gigahertz SHF (Super high frequency) band. Wi-Fi Alliance, comprising more than 375 organizations worldwide, establishes and enforces Wi-Fi standards for compatibility and interoperability of technology.
Rise in the number of smart-city projects, especially in developing countries in Asia, technological advancements in Wi-Fi technology, and increase in usage of Wi-Fi at homes and enterprises are expected to drive the global Wi-Fi chipset market during the forecast period. Rise in the middle class due to significant economic development and growth are driving the smart-city projects in Asia Pacific. For example, the nationally selected smart-city demonstration projects in China (104 projects), the smart-city projects in India (100 projects with initial investment of more than US$ 7.5 Bn), and the Songdo smart-city plans in South Korea are projected to propel the market of Wi-Fi chipset in Asia in the next few years.
A number of global conglomerates including Google, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), RailTel, and IBM are eying the Wi-Fi network management contracts of the smart-city projects. Technical advancements such as WiGig (Wireless Gigabit) enhances the Wi-Fi experience by providing extended capacity and data transmission speeds up to multi-gigabit per second. Rise in adoption of WiGig in multimedia streaming, virtual reality, and enterprise applications demanding high speed and wireless docking are expected to boost the demand for Wi-Fi chipsets in the near future.
Similarly, demand for Wi-Fi chipsets in the home application segment is expected to increase significantly in the next few years due to the ease of installation and maintenance of Wi-Fi technology in home appliances. However, the Wi-Fi network is more vulnerable to hacking as compared to the wired network as anyone within the range of a Wi-Fi device can attempt to gain access to the network. This is anticipated to be a limiting factor to the growth of the market. However, advanced Wi-Fi applications for Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) exhibit attractive opportunities for the progress of the market during the forecast period.
The global Wi-Fi chipset market can be segmented on the basis of application, IEEE standards, and geography. Based on application, the market can be divided into smartphones, tablets, personal computers, access point equipment, smart-home devices, and others. Substantial demand for smartphones using integrated Wi-Fi System on Chip (SoC) technology is estimated to be a key driver of the smartphone segment during the forecast period. On the basis of IEEE standards, the market can be classified into 802.11ay, 802.11ad, 802.11ax, 802.11ac, 802.11n, and others. Geographically, the global Wi-Fi chipset market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, Asia Pacific, and South America. Asia Pacific is expected to account for a considerable revenue share of the market during the forecast period owing to the significant usage of smartphones and tablets and rise in public Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity in developing countries such as China and India in the region.
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