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Shift to 1Gbps Wi-Fi Broadband Ready for HD Video

The shift toward consumer electronics (CE) devices with integrated IP networking capabilities continued in 2010, allowing more devices to directly connect to the Internet or to a home network. Increasingly, some of those devices are being used to create or consume high-definition (HD) video content.

According to the latest market study by In-Stat, there's an accelerated continuation of the trend in 2011. They're now forecasting growth in Wi-Fi 802.11n-enabled consumer devices. Annual unit shipments will increase from 53 million in 2010 to almost 300 million in 2015.

Portable CE devices such as digital still cameras, e-readers and handheld games are not the only consumer devices benefiting from Wi-Fi wireless connectivity.

Stationary devices such as digital photo frames, digital televisions and gaming consoles are also seeing increasing Wi-Fi attach rates -- as people discover the benefits of having Internet connectivity without the need for home network wiring.

"The migration to 802.11n is an impressive but interim step in the evolution of Wi-Fi. Users will see significantly greater speed and range than 802.11.b/g," says Frank Dickson VP of Mobile Internet at In-Stat.

However, looming on the horizon is 802.11ac with speeds of around 1Gbps as the Wi-Fi ecosystem looks to address the movement of HD video content with adequate bandwidth. The first shipments won't reach the market until 2013 -- and its real impact will not likely occur until 2015 and beyond.

In-Stat's latest market study findings include:
  • E-readers will reach a Wi-Fi attach rate of 85 percent by 2013.
  • Over 82 million, 802.11n-enabled tablets will ship in 2012.
  • Mobile device with Wi-Fi will still dominate shipments. In 2013, shipments of mobile phones with embedded Wi-Fi are projected to exceed three-quarters of a billion units.
  • 29 million digital photo frames will be shipped in 2014; 53 percent will be Wi-Fi-enabled.

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