Global economic value of Wi-Fi® to reach $5 trillion in 2025

  • 2021-06-24
  • Source:wi-fi

Wi-Fi® worldwide economic value has grown beyond expectations

In 2021, the global economic value provided by Wi-Fi will reach $3.3 trillion USD and is expected to grow to almost $5 trillion by 2025, according to a new study commissioned by Wi-Fi Alliance®. This growth represents a 150 percent increase from the 2018 value of $1.96 trillion to the projected value in 2025, underscoring Wi-Fi’s critical role in economies across the globe. 

The study, developed for Wi-Fi Alliance by economists at Telecom Advisory Services focuses on 15 economies: Australia, Brazil, Colombia, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Poland, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States, as well as an estimate for the European Union. 

The economic value of Wi-Fi for each economy studied was developed by assessing several key factors, plus global developments that have impacted the Wi-Fi industry—including the growing adoption of Wi-Fi 6 and ground-breaking regulatory decisions opening the 6 GHz band to unlicensed use. The study also considers public regulatory agency announcements in value estimates, asserting that countries allowing Wi-Fi use in all 1200 MHz of the 6 GHz band will maximize the economic benefits that Wi-Fi provides. 


Wi-Fi 6 and 6 GHz band bring new opportunities, economic resilience

Due to its inherent strengths, Wi-Fi has proven to be a key driver of digital resilience and innovation during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study results reveal that industry-wide support for Wi-Fi growth and development is essential to continue realizing the benefits Wi-Fi technology provides. By the end of 2021 there will be 16.4 billion Wi-Fi devices in use.1 Market adoption of Wi-Fi 6 will grow to 2.2 billion shipments in 2021, including nearly 340 million Wi-Fi 6E products which are capable of operating in the 6 GHz band.2 Wi-Fi 6 and access to the 6 GHz band enables a suite of advanced applications—such as multigigabit video streaming, unified communications, cloud computing, and immersive telepresence—the combined effects of which could exponentially increase Wi-Fi value in years to come. 

Defining and quantifying economic value of Wi-Fi 

Economists combined calculations based on key factors listed below for each economy to develop the economic value, as reported in USD. Once values for each country and the European Union were determined, the economists extrapolated a global value of Wi-Fi. 

Free Wi-Fi: user benefits for accessing free Wi-Fi networks in public locations, including libraries, cafés, and even Wi-Fi buses • Residential: consumer savings using home internet and connecting to Wi-Fi over cellular service 

Enterprise: savings by using Wi-Fi to digitize business functions, reduce hardwired infrastructure, handle more data traffic, and deploy innovative applications 

Internet Service Providers (ISPs): traffic offload and wireless ISP services 

Manufacturing and Wi-Fi ecosystem: companies that bring Wi-Fi devices and equipment to market; those that provide Wi-Fi related services such as cloud analytics, personal Wi-Fi access, and streaming services 

Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E: new technology enabling more IoT network deployments and advanced capabilities 

Additionally, the effects of the coronavirus pandemic were taken into account. Despite the pandemic, which presented an unexpected disruption to the global economy, Wi-Fi economic value grew beyond expectations and put a spotlight on the importance of Wi-Fi both socially and economically. 

For more information about the economic value of Wi-Fi, visit “Global Economic Value of Wi-Fi® (2021-2025)” 


Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™: Technology to trust 

Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has been driving the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi through the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED program. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED logo designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices can communicate with previous and future generations of Wi-Fi technologies, enabling homes installed with Wi-Fi CERTIFIED networking devices to provide a seamless, interoperable experience with a multitude of other Wi-Fi devices brought into the home for years to come.