The wireless connectivity market was valued at USD 44.34 Billion in 2017 and is expected to reach USD 95.66 Billion by 2023, at a CAGR of 13.42% during the forecast period.
Will the development of 5G network prove to be a significant opportunity for the market?
New wireless technologies demand more spectrum and more energy. LTE and 5G are the fastest-growing mobile technologies and would continue to evolve in the future. With the growing number of connected devices, the need for high-speed internet connectivity has become one of the most important parameters in digitally advanced workplaces. With 3G becoming the absolute wireless broadband technology and 4G rapidly expanding its prospects across numerous applications, the industry focus has shifted toward the development of the 5G technology. The 5G network infrastructure would help release connectivity of ≥1 Gbps as speculated by leading network providers. Further, the 5G network infrastructure is intended to cover end-to-end/point-to-point-based ecosystems. 5G will enable a fully connected world in which the network is highly heterogeneous. The 5G network is expected to offer a high-speed data transfer rate, high device connection density, and deliver real-time services with minimum latency. The 5G will operate on the millimeter spectrum, which would require more base stations to provide the same level of coverage as 4G. Therefore, the introduction and adoption of 5G will drive the wireless connectivity market growth.
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How will players tackle the challenge of increasing privacy and security concerns in the age of IoT?
Wireless connectivity is majorly used in organizations, with many different devices deployed on the same network. In December 2015, VTech, a Hong Kong-based company, reported information theft of about 5 million adults and 200,000 kids including photos of parents and kids. IoT would add an extra layer of the complicated network as organizations have to deal with networks that are outside the secure organization networks; for example, having a device connected to public Wi-Fi, home networks, or cellular M2M networks; and transmitting information back to organizations’ networks. These external networks are not as secure as enterprise-level networks. Also, government agencies, data collectors, and hackers may get unauthorized access to the critical information while in transit. This might not only intervene with the privacy of the concerned individual but also pose a security threat to the same. The personal information might get passed to the non-intended recipient, which might get misused and eventually cause a security breach.
Hence, security of data and other information stored on the devices connected in the IoT ecosystem is an area of concern to the growth of the wireless connectivity market as it involves ubiquitous data collection, unexpected use of consumer data, and heightened security risks.
Proliferation of Wi-Fi as a wireless connectivity standard in consumer and enterprise sectors
According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, more than 3 billion Wi-Fi devices were shipped in 2017. As of 2016, there were about 8 billion Wi-Fi devices in use across the world. Wi-Fi–enabled media devices accounted for a considerable share of about 3 billion shipments in 2017. The continuous advancements in the data transfer rate of Wi-Fi (currently WiGig offering 7 Gbps, 802.11ax is likely to offer 10 Gbps by the end of 2018) has made Wi-Fi technology suitable for high data streaming media devices such as 4K ultra-high definition (UHD) TVs, 360-degree virtual reality (VR) headsets, augmented reality (AR) games, and teleoperation of a 5G humanoid.
High power consumption by wireless sensors, terminals, and connected devices
Sensors and other peripherals are significant power users. Although technologies such as ultra-low-power processors, tiny mobile sensors, and wireless networking are available, there is a need for efficient power management and optical power consumption in IoT devices. Connectivity load would be another critical issue since numerous devices need to be connected at the same time. For instance, the average smart home may contain 50–100 connected appliances, lights, thermostats, and other devices, each with its own power requirements. Equipment such as smart meters would be used to make the line power-efficient. As a frequent manual replacement of the batteries of thousands of sensors, actuators, and other connected devices within IoT systems is not feasible; the main hurdle is the power management of devices using wireless technologies, such as Wi-Fi.
Although semiconductor manufacturers are already working toward producing ultra-low-power chips and modules, the field of wearable technology is still facing a challenge of power management. Further, the innovation of battery technology for portable electronics products poses the related challenges of space and weight reduction.
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