Supply Constraints Could Hold Up Wi-Fi 6E

Wi-Fi 7 enterprise class wireless LAN available in 2023.

  • Dell'Oro Group


REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--Supply constraints will be a "pin in the balloon" for Wi-Fi 6E, as Wi-Fi 7 Enterprise class wireless LAN becomes available in 2023.

"Although manufacturers launched Wi-Fi 6E products in mid-2021, products are either not available, or they are in very limited supply.  Supply constraints have prompted manufacturers to focus on enabling the availability of popular models by re-designing these models with components that are more readily available," said Tam Dell'Oro, Founder, CEO and Wireless LAN Analyst.

Dell'Oro added that systems integrators say users are asking for Wi-Fi 6, not 6E. “If companies have to prioritize their production, Wi-Fi 6 will be the priority,” she said. “Wi-Fi shipments in the second half of 2021 excluding China, were significantly limited because of supply constraints. Ecosystem players do not see constraints easing until the end of 2022. With Wi-Fi 7 products shipping as early as 2023, we predict users will bypass 6E.”

Besides supply constraints, regulatory issues relative to 6 GHz spectrum continue to be an issue.

"In addition to supply constraints inhibiting the rate of adoption of Wi-Fi 6E, we have learned that compliance with regulations to operate within the 6 GHz spectrum are slowing the deployment process. Compliance processes have yet to be standardized and easy to implement," said Dell'Oro.

The research firm has forecast over the next five years $45 to $50 billion will be spent on enterprise-class Wi-Fi equipment and artificial intelligence applications. After several years of share gains, shipments of cloud-managed access points did not gain share in 2021.


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