Global ubiquity and prominence in delivering the internet make Wi-Fi an obvious choice for connecting Internet of Things (IoT) devices in both residential and industrial environments. Wi-Fi is uniquely suited to support IoT products and applications with its wide-ranging capabilities and proliferation as a global standard. Wi-Fi will play a role in almost every IoT environment, either alone or alongside more specialized protocols or technologies.
“Wi-Fi has been delivering the ‘internet’ in Internet of Things to more applications, more use cases, and more environments than any other IoT technology option,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “The IoT is meant to enrich people’s lives, and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED solutions deliver the quality, reliability, and security that enable the IoT’s full potential.”
“Wi-Fi addresses the needs of various device types and use cases in the IoT market,” said Phil Solis, research director, IDC. “Wi-Fi can deliver a wide range of data rates and ranges at varying price points because there are an abundance of Wi-Fi chips supporting different levels of complexity and several unlicensed spectrum bands from sub-1 GHz to 6 GHz. It is this diversity in chips designs that allow Wi-Fi to meet the broadest array of IoT product and network requirements.”
Wi-Fi Alliance outlines eight Wi-Fi competencies that should be considered when selecting an IoT technology:
Standards-based, interoperable technology: The promise of IoT is founded on a wide range of device manufacturers. Wi-Fi provides a common platform to deliver a growing range of IoT applications that vary in performance, power, and latency requirements.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ delivers confidence that billions of devices will interoperate and provide a quality user experience regardless of product brand.
Pervasive connectivity: IoT systems are often controlled through mobile devices, and Wi-Fi allows seamless control of smartphones, tablets, and 18 billion Wi-Fi devices already in use today to help unlock the full potential of the IoT. Pervasive global connectivity empowers users and network operators to connect and control a unified system.
Proven WPA3™ security: Sensitive government, industrial, and personal information is exchanged through IoT applications. Wi-Fi delivers proven, WPA3™ security to protect information exchanged in personal and enterprise environments. Choosing Wi-Fi CERTIFIED IoT devices ensures data is protected with the latest, enterprise-grade security protocols.
Cost effective, simple deployment: Wi-Fi is an easy-to-deploy and cost-effective foundation that requires no separate gateways or specialized skills to deliver IoT applications. Wi-Fi is relied on and deployed by users worldwide every day, and continues to evolve to simplify device pairing, network authentication, and more.
Backward compatibility: Wi-Fi is a smart investment for IoT product architects who consider cost, reliability, and support in future-proofing their technology investment. Wi-Fi will stand the test of time which minimizes the risk of premature obsolescence and ensures legacy devices can easily connect to home networks.
Location awareness: Wi-Fi Location™ delivers sub-meter-level location information that allows a range of location-aware IoT services for industrial and smart city environments, enabling enhanced benefits such as asset management, network management, and geo-fencing.
Reliable, sophisticated connectivity: Home and industrial IoT networks require consistent and reliable connectivity. Wi-Fi 6 networks deliver sophisticated network efficiency, diagnostics, management, and optimization capabilities. Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E handle many simultaneously connected devices and heavy data throughput while delivering high performance and low latencies for applications including 4K video streaming and AR/VR. Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E also allows devices, such as manufacturing robots, and drones, to remain connected even as they move or “roam” throughout home or industrial networks.
Flexible network topology: In addition to a traditional Wi-Fi connection through access points, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED EasyMesh™, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Aware™, and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Wi-Fi Direct offer a variety of network topologies to different IoT environments for scalable and customizable options to meet IoT network and IoT application needs. Wi-Fi offers more flexible topology options to network managers for IoT network connections than solely star or mesh topologies.
Wi-Fi’s extensive portfolio addresses IoT use cases that support high throughput and low latency applications, such as AR/VR, and long range, low power requirements for asset tracking applications or rural irrigation systems. Wi-Fi Alliance certifications, including Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED HaLow��, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED Easy Connect™, and Wi-Fi CERTIFIED QoS Management™ deliver capabilities to meet unique IoT requirements across residential, industrial, and other IoT environments. The enormous potential of the IoT market has resulted in devices brought to market without sufficient testing, delivering a less-than-optimal user experience. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED devices meet high quality standards for the latest security, interoperability, and a range of application-specific protocols to deliver a good experience for users and network operators.
“Wi-Fi plays a crucial role in enabling industrial IoT use cases and helping companies achieve desired business outcomes in this important market sector. At Aruba, as part of Aruba ESP, we are working with our customers and our partner ecosystem to ensure secure, seamless IoT connectivity to enable hyper-aware facilities. By building GPS and Wi-Fi Location capabilities into our wireless technology, our wireless access points are equipped to automatically locate themselves and provide highly accurate indoor positioning – empowering wayfinding, asset tracking, and people tracking use cases in industrial IoT environments.”
– Chuck Lukaszewski, VP and Wireless CTO at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
About Wi-Fi Alliance
Wi-Fi Alliance is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 70,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.