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5G, IoT and more depend on carrier-grade Wi-Fi

The list of wireless services is long and getting longer – public Wi-Fi services, the “Internet of Things,” big data, converged services, smart cities and “5G” to name a few. A new report from Maravedisthe Wireless Broadband Alliance, shows businesses are becoming aware of the increasingly vital role robust wireless infrastructure plays in their operations.

According to the report, 57% of operators have firm timelines in place for the deployment of carrier-grade network architecture, and by 2020, 80% of respondents plan to have deployments in the areas of IoT and machine-to-machine; more than half already have plans for converged services and smart cities.

IoT is dependent on wireless infrastructure to function with Wi-Fi being one of the most tried-and-true systems available, particularly for home-based IoT. From agriculture to defense, IoT systems are increasingly commonplace across all industries. Some predictions estimate the IoT market could soon be worth $1.9 trillion and involve trillions of devices and sensors. A recent U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation hearing highlighted the expansion of wireless broadband infrastructure including Wi-Fi.

 The WBA report notes increased confidence in carrier-grade Wi-Fi is prompting more businesses to use Wi-Fi networks to meet their IoT needs.

“Increased operator confidence in carrier-grade Wi-Fi technology has led to a surge in the growth of deployments over the past 12 months and set a trend that will to continue,” said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the WBA. “Within five years there will be as much as a 70% rise in the number of carrier-grade public Wi-Fi hot spots deployed, vastly outnumbering current best effort[s].

“These shifts mean that the themes of the WBA’s Vision 2020 are equally applicable to all the ecosystem’s stakeholders; accelerating development of relevant technologies to keep pace with the rapidly changing landscape, diversifying in time with the changing face of the Wi-Fi ecosystem, and increasing investment in development, testing and deployments to continue the push toward Wi-Fi ubiquity, unlicensed wireless, IoT, 5G and beyond.”

Bottom line, Wi-Fi is a foundational access technology and will figure prominently in the continuing evolution of IoT, mobile networks and general connectivity. Without carrier-grade Wi-Fi, many of these applications will prove challenging.


Jeff Hawn
Jeff Hawn
Contributing [email protected] Jeff Hawn was born in 1991 and represents the “millennial generation,” the people who have spent their entire lives wired and wireless. His adult life has revolved around cellphones, the Internet, video chat and Google. Hawn has a degree in international relations from American University, and has lived and traveled extensively throughout Europe and Russia. He represents the most valuable, but most discerning, market for wireless companies: the people who have never lived without their products, but are fickle and flighty in their loyalty to one company or product. He’ll be sharing his views – and to a certain extent the views of his generation – with RCR Wireless News readers, hoping to bridge the generational divide and let the decision makers know what’s on the mind of this demographic.

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