Global home networking unit shipments are expected to decline 1 percent in 2020 to 192.1 million, according to Dell’Oro Group.
The Dell’Oro Group report said home networking devices included residential access points, residential WiFi routers, including mesh routers, as well as broadband CPE with integrated WiFi capabilities.
There were supply chain constraints and reductions in manufacturing capacity during the first quarter of the year, due to closure of manufacturing plants in China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
Demand from new broadband subscribers as well as consumers upgrading their in-home WiFi devices to handle telework and remote education requirements will enhance sale of home networking devices, the report said.
WiFi 6 unit shipments across all product categories are expected to increase to 1.5 million units this year, and then skyrocket in 2021 and beyond, as broadband service providers begin taking shipments of cable, fiber, and DSL gateways with integrated WiFi 6 capabilities. Until then, the bulk of WiFi 6 units will be premium WiFi routers and mesh systems sold via retail outlets.
WiFi 6 adoption combined with the increased rollout of high-end broadband CPE, including GPON and XGS-PON ONTs, along with DOCSIS 3.1, VDSL, and G.fast units will result in an increase in overall home networking unit shipments through 2022.
The adoption of mesh router systems in the North American and Western European markets will also help to drive overall growth, before a period of market saturation sets in beginning in 2023 and 2024.
The report said 802.11ac (WiFi 5) units will continue to hold the largest share of overall units through 2022.
WiFi 6 will dominate shipments in 2023. High-ARPU regions, such as North America and select markets of Western Europe and APAC make these transitions much faster than other regions, including China and CALA.
Consumer mesh routers are expected to touch 23 million this year. Operators are becoming smarter about identifying when mesh routers are required by means of delivering apps that allow new subscribers to describe their homes, the placement of their routers, and the types of devices throughout the home that might require closer proximity to a mesh base station or satellite.