Different generations
of Wi-Fi – What ISPs
should know

Technology

Different generations
of Wi-Fi – What ISPs
should know

Technology

Intro

There are 20 billion Wi-Fi-enabled devices in the world today. Wi-Fi technologies are progressing with new standards being adopted to support evolving uses and consumer expectations.  However, it typically takes anywhere up to 5-6 years for a new Wi-Fi standard to penetrate even 50% of the installed base, because the installed base is so big.

Penetration for Wi-Fi 6 devices reached about 12% in our deployments in the 15 months since the standard launched. In fact, we are still seeing 47% of devices are Wi-Fi 5 and 40% are using Wi-Fi 4! Wi-Fi 4 is 15 years old and yet it still represents 40% of the installed base. As a result, we not only have a growing number of the latest Wi-Fi 6 client devices connected to Wi-Fi 6 access points but we also observe a greater range of different generations of devices that are simultaneously in use. Managing this complexity is one of the greatest challenges for service providers.


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