Wi-Fi To Drive 5G Development

Maravedis Rethink Research and Wireless Broadband Alliance logos

The Wireless Broadband Alliance has released a report in which it indicates that Wi-Fi networks will drive an ‘explosion’ in new service developments, including 5G.

Titled ‘Towards 2020’ and compiled by Maravedis Rethink Research, the report argues that the widespread deployment of carrier-grade Wi-Fi networks is driving further cellular convergence and the development of innovative services.

“the perfect environment for service innovation”

Whilst providing an overview of the state of the Wi-Fi sector and new capabilities, it gives an update on the overall ecosystem of the network, including hotspot deployment patterns, approaches to spectrum bands and, of course, the evolution towards 5G.

‘The past few years have been transformative for the Wi-Fi industry,’ said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance. ‘The technology is now carrier-grade, having matured in terms of robustness, bandwidth and user experience. This has led to an explosion of deployments around the world creating the perfect environment for service innovation.’

“an explosion in the range of services which consumers and enterprises can use”

Shenwai predicts that the shift will ‘spark an explosion in the range of services which consumers and enterprises can use, and in the monetization options for operators.’

Likely elements of 5G, such as densification, virtualisation, low latency and expansions of MIMO smart antennas, are listed as things which are already emerging and being applied to Wi-Fi now. It is claimed that: ‘Most of these will start to impact the way 802.11 and Wi-Fi evolve at the technical level, and how they are deployed and monetized, even before 2020’.

You can read the report in full here.

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