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AV wireless connectivity poised to pervade the workplace, as 5G and Wi-Fi 6 E pave the way

Working practices and office layouts continue to undergo transformation, as businesses of all sizes embrace the long-term prospects of hybrid working. While employees have the flexibility to work from any location, and the option to meet face-to-face when needed, this is presenting new connectivity challenges. 

The join-from-anywhere workplace demands that remote participants enjoy the same experience as their on-premise colleagues, yet this can be difficult to achieve. A new wireless connectivity report from Futuresource Consulting lays out the roadmap for connectivity, exploring how 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6 E will evolve, and the impact this will have on the use of AV solutions in enterprise settings. 

Wireless creates challenges as well as convenience 

“Digital disruption is nothing new for enterprises,” says Chris Pennell, Principal Analyst, Futuresource Consulting, “but this disruption always used to be confined to systems and processes. Now, in our post-pandemic world, it’s all about where and how employees perform. Wireless communications are increasingly crucial, allowing for greater flexibility, more agility, and reduced complexity and cost. As a result, issues around quality of service and latency are becoming far more pronounced, which is where 5G, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6 E can smooth the way for the commercial wireless AV market. These technologies allow for faster speeds and the ability to move much more data, improved responsiveness due to lower latency, and a greater ability to connect multiple, divergent devices.”  

A new connectivity opportunity for AV vendors 

Industry estimates indicate over 350 million Wi-Fi 6 E-certified devices were shipped in 2022. In addition, there were around 8.4 billion active mobile subscriptions at the end of 2022, and this figure is expected to increase to 9.2 billion by the end of 2028. However, individual mobile subscribers will grow at a lower rate, indicating that expansion will be driven by corporate subscriptions for mobile connectivity.   

The new connectivity opportunity will enable a wide range of enterprise AV uses cases. Integrating wireless connections with displays is already well established, particularly in the interactive panel sector, and Futuresource expects this to be a key growth area, along with cameras and collaboration tools. 

“As well as enabling existing products to evolve and remain relevant to customers, combining wireless connections with emerging AV areas offers substantial opportunities for vendors,” says Pennell. “There is huge potential for AV devices to incorporate wireless connectivity, and new use cases are likely to appear with advancements in bandwidth.   

“The use of physical connectivity has meant that AV devices have always been associated with a fixed space or area. However, the integration of wireless connectivity breaks that link and sets AV free, giving rise to a new breed of device that involves motion. And with codecs like Versatile Video Coding delivering a 50% bitrate reduction, the opportunity is closing in fast.” 

A world beyond Wi-Fi 6 E 

Although Wi-Fi 6 E only received final approval from the IEEE standards board in 2021, work is already underway to replace it with Wi-Fi 7. Futuresource notes that a final version is expected next year and will support emerging use cases for augmented reality, the metaverse, automation, and 4K and 8K broadcast quality services.   

For further information on Futuresource Consulting’s AV Wireless Connectivity in the Workplace report, or to make a purchase, please contact 

Date Published:

Chris Pennell

About the author

Chris Pennell

Chris Pennell is a Principal Analyst for Futuresource Consulting, leading Futuresource’s research across the Connectivity and Services practice. His research focuses on emerging technologies transforming enterprises' use of AV solutions.

Chris's recent research covers areas such as the shift to IP-connected devices, the use of managed and cloud-based services, and the impact of Pro AV solutions on the Future of Work. Working with various vendors and end users has enabled Chris to explore and build knowledge of the innovative ways enterprises use AV technologies to address ongoing challenges. Outside work, Chris is happiest helping raise his young family and supporting his local Scout troop.

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