Wi-Fi 6E in 2020

We expect that Wi-Fi 6E products to hit the market as soon as 3Q20 in the US and by 4Q20 in Europe.  The appeal of these new 802.11ax products is that they operate not just in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz, as 802.11ac products have, but now add 6 GHz spectrum support.  The US products will likely support 1.2 GHz of spectrum, while European products may support about 0.5 GHz of spectrum.

We expect that throughput of higher-end Wi-Fi 6E access points may exceed 5 Gbps under some operating conditions, which may drive the discussion towards 10 Gbps switching.  The higher throughput “backhaul” may mean that MultiGig Ethernet (that operates at 2.5 Gbps and/or 5 Gbps and takes advantage of older copper cabling installed primarily for 1 Gbps switches) could get another use-case compared to a scenario where 6 Ghz support never came to market.  There is also another potential that the market moves faster to 10 Gbps and/or fiber.

We will be publishing our forecasts for Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), MultiGig Ethernet and 10 Gbps Ethernet in a few weeks.  These forecasts will incorporate final 2019 numbers from vendors, as well as our updated views on 2020 macroeconomic scenarios, and the potential coronavirus impact (corvid-19).