mobile devicesAdvances in broadband wireless networking and rapid wireless transfer technology will fuel explosive growth in shipments of high-speed wireless devices in the next five years, according to a market research report from IHS.

Several high-speed wireless networking technologies that enable rapid transfer of data are emerging and will come to be common in wireless-enabled devices. These include WirelessHD, WHDI, 802.11ad (WiGig) and multistream Wi-Fi (802.11n 3×3 and higher or 802.11ac 2×2 and higher).

“These technologies, in turn, are known for featuring wireless speeds several times faster than that of 802.11n and earlier, which offer velocities anywhere between 72 megabits per second (mbps) to 530 mbps typical of Wi-Fi,” IHS analysts note.

Driven by these advances, shipments of wireless-enabled devices including smartphones, TVs and mobile PCs will increase more than ten-fold from 2013’s expected total of 49 million, reaching 503 million units by 2018, IHS forecasts.

Growth during the next three years will range from 60-120%, “with expansion during the last two years of the forecast window moderating somewhat to still-high increases of up to 30%,” IHS states in a press release.

“Much of the anticipated growth in the high-speed wireless industry will be attributed to the increase of both WiGig and multistream Wi-Fi in mobile and home entertainment applications by the end of the forecast period,” IHS senior analyst for connectivity Stephanie Gibbons was quoted. “In particular, WiGig and multistream Wi-Fi are the two technologies set to drive high-speed wireless adoption into key consumer electronics applications.”

Smartphones, TVs and mobile PCs will present market participants with their greatest opportunities, IHS continues. Some 1.7 billion high-speed wireless ICs (integrated circuits) will be shipped cumulatively by 2018 across these three product segments and “various other applications,” IHS says.

In addition, IHS expects shipments of high-speed wireless modules – nearly 60% of which will be multistream Wi-Fi modules – to total some 537 million over the period. “Routers and set-top boxes will represent the largest applications for multistream Wi-Fi,” IHS believes.

Turning to other advances in high-speed wireless networking, IHS anticipates WHDI will “move away from traditional consumer electronics uses toward more niche applications, such as high-end video production and real-time streaming of high-definition content.” Mobile devices will come equipped with 60 GHz WiGig by 2015, “which will drive increased shipments of WiGig chips.”

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