IHS: 90% of households will get Wi-Fi routers from ISPs by 2019

The number of households that get their Wi-Fi routers from ISPs is on the rise.  According to research firm IHS, about 66 percent of households received their routers from their ISPs in 2014 and that number will rise to 90 percent by 2019. The remaining 10 percent of customers will either install the gateway or router themselves or have it installed by some other source.

According to IHS, the home gateway or router is an increasingly important strategic element for ISPs as they seek greater control over the customer experience.

In an interview with FierceInstaller, John Kendall, senior analyst, IHS, said that providing the gateway allows for more advanced diagnostics, making troubleshooting easier for the ISP. In so doing, the customer experience can be improved, while the ISP can take care of some issues remotely, avoiding the expense and complexities of a truck roll.

Kendall added that customers sometimes blame the ISP for limited speeds, without understanding that an outdated router could be the bottleneck.

The firm forecasts that the number of Wi-Fi-capable devices per household will rise from 10 in 2014 to 13 in 2019. This increasing number of devices can impact speeds, in some cases interrupting a stream of video, for example. Also, newer gateways with dual band 802.11ac capabilities, including service at 5 GHz, can avoid interference with household appliances such as microwaves and cordless phones that function at 2.4 GHz.

Gateways and routers with dual-band 802.11ac were not widely adopted until 2014, but IHS believes that there will be 88 million shipments of such devices this year, with shipments then nearly doubling over 2015 levels in 2016.

Kendall also said that the move by some cable companies to launch Wi-Fi mobile services could be a factor in contributing to this 90 percent figure.

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