Date icon19 July 2018

Key trends: wireless access control in 2018

Assa Abloy a leading manufacturer of access control hardware, and an important partner of Touchstar ATC, has produced a detailed report on the current status of the wireless access control market. The report was produced in conjunction with IFSEC and we’ve highlighted some of the main findings below;

Market data in 2018

• Currently, only 6% of installed electronic access systems are fully wireless; a further 31% include a mix of wired and wireless devices

• A significantly higher proportion use wireless access control technology than in our 2016 report: the share of fully hardwired systems has fallen from 57% to 41%

• ‘Non-door’ deployment of wireless access devices is already significant, according to our survey: 24% of commercial environments have battery-powered locks on gates and other outdoor structures; 23% on server racks; 17% on safes; 16% on machinery; 17% on cabinets and lockers

• Transparency Market Research forecasts robust growth in the global wireless access control market between now and 2025, when revenues will reach US$1.66bn at a CAGR of 7.9%. They predict the ‘non-door’ market will grow at a CAGR of 12.9% to 2025


• Installers are more convinced than customers about the benefits of wireless access control: Three quarters (75%) agreed wireless systems make installation easier, quicker and more cost -effective but only 37% said “it’s easier to convince customers of the benefits compared to wired”. Fewer than half of end users believed wireless systems have a lower cost of ownership, for example, highlighting a need for continued market education

• Cloud-based physical access control will continue to experience strong demand growth: ACaaS offers faster scaling and more predictable costs, despite a lack of industry consensus on the cybersecurity advantages and drawbacks vs. in-house management

• Sustainability is a major and growing factor in procurement: Four in five (80%) state the availability of an EPD would influence whether they buy or recommend a solution, and because wireless access control devices need very little energy to operate, interest is likely to grow in self-powered and energy harvesting technologies • Open standards like the OSS Standard Offline are critical to future-proofing: Access control systems need to be flexible, and this means accommodating needs not yet foreseen

• The uptake of mobile access credentials has been slow – for now: Security professionals may(understandably) be unwilling to jeopardise security by adopting unproven innovations but change is coming: Gartner predicts 20% of organisations will use mobile credentials for access by 2020, and IHS Markit that 44 million mobile credentials will be downloaded by 2021

• Bluetooth is becoming the de facto standard for mobile access: Its longer reach over NFC widens the scope of potential applications and, unlike NFC, use doesn’t hinge on securing permission from a third party

• The most commonly cited benefit of Bluetooth is enabling remote access for non-employees and revoking credentials instantly: Conversely, perceived cybersecurity risk is the biggest misgiving

• Integration of an access control system with other functions remains key: For operational efficiency (including reduced training costs) and user convenience benefits, an overwhelming majority of respondents emphasise the importance of having access control points and security systems fully integrated across the building and/or multiple premises

A copy of the full report can be downloaded from