2023 and Beyond: Wi-Fi Alliance Says All Roads Lead to Wi-Fi 

According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, 2023 is set to be a transformational year for Wi-Fi. The industry is expected to see new use cases, innovation and plenty of opportunities for growth. Needless to say, our Wi-Fi experts here at Geekabit are excited about what’s to come! 

Despite socio-economic disruption on a global scale, the progress of Wi-Fi has raced ahead in recent years. In fact, is there a wireless technology that has advanced faster than Wi-Fi has recently? We’d go as far as to say probably not. 

To further get to grips with the Wi-Fi trends and see the opportunities all mapped out, head to the Wi-Fi Alliance’s recently released blog

The great thing about Wi-Fi is that its wireless arsenal keeps growing, which in turn leads to more opportunities for innovation and growth. 

Wi-Fi and Matter

One of these recently added wireless standards is Matter. Wi-Fi is an intrinsic part of the new Matter standard for IoT. We’ve blogged before about Matter and its role in Smart Home standards. We can see that 2023 will be the beginning of an interoperable smart home era. You can read more about Matter from the Wi-Fi Alliance’s stance here

Wi-Fi and Matter go hand in hand perfectly. Matter offers the interoperability, and the Wi-Fi delivers standardised and secure IP-native connectivity for IoT devices across the board. 

Most use cases will be supported, and whilst it will begin with smart home IoT, future years will see it expanding into industry and enterprise spaces. 

Wi-Fi HaLow

Last year we also saw a bit of a breakthrough with Wi-Fi HaLow. This is still little known so if you’re wondering what is Wi-Fi HaLow –  It operates in the 900MHz band, offering twice the range, a more robust connection and greater power efficiency than the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. It’s known as IEEE 802.11ah and you’re likely to see more of it in 2023. 

It’s actually been defined as a Wi-Fi standard and certificated by the Wi-Fi Alliance since 2026, but after financing on a large scale in 2022, the first Wi-Fi HaLow device was launched at the beginning of this year. The device was a security camera purported to have obstacle-penetrating signal and battery life able to last years. 

We’re really excited to see what’s more to come from Wi-Fi HaLow – Keep your eyes peeled!

Wi-Fi and the Expansion of the 6GHz Band

Another leap forward in the world of Wi-Fi in 2022 and set to continue this year was the acceleration and global adoption of the 6GHz band. According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, this new band is available in 60 countries with more than 1200 Wi-Fi 6E devices launched in commercial markets. 

For industries that require Wi-Fi for stadiums, arenas, campus networks and healthcare, the market for Wi-Fi 6E is set to expand. Due to their need for high-density connectivity applications and support, we’d expect to see Wi-Fi 6E become a big part of these networks. 

However, despite there being 1200 Wi-Fi 6E devices (according to Intel) not all of these commercially available devices are Wi-Fi Certified. This is an integral part of Wi-Fi as an eco-system so we’d expect to see more products on the market with Wi-Fi certification. 

Wi-Fi and Location Based Services

Location Based Services are also worth a quick mention when talking about Wi-Fi innovations and things to keep an eye on during 2023. 

As with most things Wi-Fi, a lot of effort goes into constantly developing and improving the devices and standards available on the market. 

These improvements and innovations in 802.11 standards-based tech will mean that Wi-Fi based location services will be driven down to as small as 10cm accuracy in the future. 

Watch this space! 

Wi-Fi Smart Home Standards: What is Matter?

Last week we blogged about Google launching their Nest Wi-Fi Pro – And we mentioned that this new device would be Matter compatible. 

If you keep up with all the latest gadgets and gizmos and pride yourself on your smart home then you’ll have probably been hearing quite a bit about Matter. Especially from the likes of Google, Amazon and Apple. 

If you’re keen to keep your smart home updated with up to date tech and new features, then you might be eager to upgrade to Matter compatible devices.

But what exactly is Matter when it comes to Wi-Fi? And do you need to be rushing out to buy the latest smart home tech to future-proof your devices?

What is Matter in Wi-Fi?

Essentially, the aim of Matter is to provide a protocol that offers interoperability across different ecosystems, offering standard data models for smart home devices. 

If you’re reading this, then it’s likely you have a smart home or are intending to ‘smarten up’ your home with some of the latest gadgets. Think smart bulbs for your lighting, heating controls, TV, music, etc. You’ll also likely have a Google Home, Amazon Alexa, or Apple HomeKit – Which means when you buy smart home devices, you’re checking if they’re specifically compatible to your smart assistant. Is this smart bulb compatible with Alexa? 

In essence, this newly-launched networking protocol – Matter – will ensure that all your smart home accessories work across all the smart home platforms. Or major ones at least. Instead of having to check if something is compatible with Google Home, all you’ll need to do is check for the Matter label. 

You do need to bear in mind however that depending on the platform of your choice, you may need to wait for software updates to enable Matter. 

But what actually is it? What is Matter? Matter is an IP based technology, formerly known as Project Chip (Project Connected Home Over IP). Using Matter, it’s possible to create a mesh network which doesn’t need to connect to the cloud. This means that whether or not your smart accessories connect to the internet or have a hub, if you are physically there in the home then you should be able to ‘turn the lights on’ with Matter and it work with as little as your phone. 

Where we have connective technologies such as Ethernet, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, Matter operates as an application layer on top. This makes mesh functions possible. 

Is Matter a big deal for Wi-Fi and smart homes?

As we intimated above, when you’re shopping for a smart home device or accessory it can all seem a little bit fractured. Does Alexa support this device? Is this accessory compatible with Google Home? 

Whilst many devices and accessories cross over and work with various platforms, that isn’t always the case and we definitely need to be checking compatibility before making a purchase. 

When you’re shopping for a smart home platform, device or accessory, the ones you want might not all marry up. You might love the features of one platform, but not be as impressed by the accessories on offer and the specs of compatible devices available. And that can feel pretty frustrating. 

This is where Matter will be really handy for the smart home industry as a whole – For you as a consumer as well as the smart home manufacturer. 

Matter will mean that you will have a wider range of product options, as well as more reliable connectivity within your home. And that’s a huge thing. 

If you have a smart home, you will likely have smart devices and accessories located all over the house in different rooms – Maybe even outside! If these locations don’t have a strong, reliable signal then you’ll find your devices ‘dropping out’. If you have a home jam-packed full of smart devices then you could even find that your router is overloaded and the Wi-Fi doesn’t work as effectively. Although this is unlikely with Wi-Fi 6, you don’t want a smart home full of devices that can’t work effectively due to the Wi-Fi. 

But accessories using Matter, particularly on a Thread network, helps reduce these connectivity problems. 

Which manufacturers will be compatible with Matter in the UK?

The body behind the Matter standard is the CSA (Connectivity Standards Alliance). Amongst the members of this alliance, you will find the big players of the smart home world like Google, Amazon, Apple and Samsung. 

Google seems to be leading the way when it comes to Matter compatibility here in the UK. As we mentioned in last week’s blog, Google is already launching their Matter compatible device through the Nest Wi-Fi Pro. 

We fully expect others to fully suit very soon, with the tech world eagerly awaiting the necessary software updates by the end of this year. 

Next year we will start to see the tech world pick up the pace with device development to match the Matter spec, with the launching of more and more Matter compatible accessories. 

If you can’t envisage your home without it’s smart element and worry about Wi-Fi coverage disrupting your smart home functionality, then Matter could give you the peace of mind you’re looking for to keep those concerns of operating things without internet at bay. 

Whilst Matter compatibility would future-proof your devices, if you’re happy to choose current devices and accessories that are compatible only with your chosen platform then they will continue to work just the same even once Matter is available. 

We’re excited to see what Matter will have to offer the smart home industry!

Google Launches Nest Wi-Fi Pro

Earlier this month, Google released the latest Nest version of their consumer-grade router. The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro will not only have Wi-Fi 6E functionality, but also be compatible with Matter IoT. With the Connectivity Standards Alliance (CSA) releasing the Matter 1.0 specification on the same day, it will be interesting to see what this means for the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro and how the Matter certification program will deliver better interoperability between IoT devices in the smart home. 

We’re guessing if you’ve landed on this blog that you are familiar with the Google Nest line of products, but just in case you’re not – Google Nest is perhaps one of the most lucrative and accomplished Wi-Fi mesh products on the market. 

The launch of this latest version brings the Google Nest up to date with Wi-Fi 6E technology and is currently available for order. 

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – The Tech

The traditional router is a singular device and whilst it can offer great signal in the room it’s installed, it can get patchy the further out you try to connect, even in just the standard home. 

Where Google Nest Wi-Fi differs is that it is a scalable system, giving a consistent, strong signal across the entire home. Not only that, but each Nest Wi-Fi point is also a Google speaker with Google Assistant.

How Does the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro Work?

There are two main devices to this system – The router and the point. The router plugs directly into your modem and creates your network, with a strong and reliable signal. 

The point works alongside the router to extend the coverage without losing any strength. This is where it becomes scalable – Depending on the size of your home, you can choose to install these Wi-Fi points in various locations and rooms to make sure the Wi-Fi stays fast everywhere. 

Plus – They are also a smart speaker, so you can use your Google Assistant wherever you are in your home, from playing your favourite music to setting a timer for dinner. 

There is a fantastic visual representation of just what the Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro can do on the product page of their website. 

Most houses now have at least an element of being a smart home. Our demand and consumption for good Wi-Fi at home is at an all time high – Whether it’s working from home via video conferencing, streaming the latest Netflix binge-worthy programme or connected to online gaming. Perhaps even all of them at once! 

The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro router and Wi-Fi point together enables up to 200 devices to connect at any one time, with the strength and speed to handle multiple 4K videos. 

The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro features boast the ability to:

  • Connect – Keep buffering at bay whatever room you’re in by automatically connecting you to the nearest Wi-Fi point
  • Optimise – Automatically uses the clearest channel available to offer the fastest band, avoiding congestion
  • Update – Your Wi-Fi will even improve over time due to regular software updates
  • Secure – The Nest Wi-Fi router has an advanced security chip to help protect your network along with automatic updates

And all this controlled from the Google Home app in the palm of your hand. Not just your network, but also parental controls, privacy settings, device prioritisation and even speed checks. Pretty nifty.

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – The Aesthetics

This newly launched Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro has a sleek, smooth looking egg shaped design. 

These products were designed with your home in mind – No more hiding an ugly router away out of sight. This is a Wi-Fi device you won’t mind having on show. 

Neutral in colour, they also have a soft under glow when they are ready to help answer those Hey Google requests. 

The Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro is aesthetically inspired by ceramic objects, with the aim to blend right in with your home wherever the router or points need to be located.

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – Wi-Fi 6E Capabilities

We’ve been banging on about Wi-Fi 6E here on our Geekabit blog – And for good reason! The Wi-Fi world is excited at this new version and the improvements it will bring. 

So it’s no surprise really that we’re seeing Google launch their new Nest Wi-Fi Pro with Wi-Fi 6E functionality. Devices with this capability will become more and more prevalent, and we’re happy to see products like this appearing on the market already. 

Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro – Ready for Matter 

Taking the tech a step further, this newly launched Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro is also ready for Matter.

Very exciting – But what does that actually mean? 

Well, with the CSA only releasing Matter certification information on the same day the new Google Nest device was released, it’s not that obvious what this means just yet. 

This is a new standard – It is Matter 1.0 afterall. But a very exciting new standard indeed. The fact that the new Google Nest Wi-Fi Pro says it is ready for Matter means, at this stage, that their products are interoperable IoT devices. Google states that all of their Nest devices will be upgraded to be Matter controllers, with Amazon likely to follow suit with their devices. 

The CSA are holding a launch event for Matter in less than a fortnight’s time on the 3rd November, so we will be bringing more to you on Matter and what it means for Wi-Fi very soon.