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Market Research Report

WiFi Prospects in a 5G World

Published by Heavy Reading Product code 649891
Published Content info 19 Pages
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WiFi Prospects in a 5G World
Published: June 11, 2018 Content info: 19 Pages
Description

In the early days of WiFi and 3G, operators and vendors invested significant effort in trying to understand how the two technologies would interact: whether 3G would wipe out WiFi, or vice versa, or whether we would see a world with a harmonious mix of both technologies.

At the advent of 5G we find people having the same discussion. Will 5G make WiFi redundant? If not, how will the two technologies fit together? And what should this mean for any individual company's strategy?

Whether or not WiFi has a future is not in doubt. The evidence is overwhelming that WiFi will be a major means of delivering wireless connectivity in coming years, all around the world. Organizations of many types will continue to invest in large-scale WiFi networks, and mobile network operators will not be the only types of firm deploying WiFi.

Delivering 5G service performance objectives will likely require a mix of licensed, shared and unlicensed spectrum approaches, but this does not mean that WiFi will necessarily be become a chargeable extension of mobile services. Customer expectations in most markets will simply not allow that. WiFi is seen as free at the point of access in many scenarios; and even where it isn't, building owners won't want to share control or money with the mobile operators.

Mobile operators should nonetheless pursue strategies that integrate their LTE and 5G networks with WiFi infrastructures as far as they can. Rather than planning a LTE/5G strategy to replace WiFi, they should take advantage of the cost, reach and customer satisfaction qualities it can deliver. They should be realistic about their very poor prospects of getting people to pay for better mobile in the home or office - particularly when they have had WiFi for "free."

WiFi Prospects in a 5G World explores recent patterns in WiFi deployment and improvements to the technology. It reviews the likely impact of business models, installed base of legacy infrastructure and vested interests - all of which will influence the evolution of the market - exploring how WiFi and 5G are likely to fit together.

While WiFi technology has been steadily improving, so its adoption within global markets has continued to rise. In fact, there is no immediate sense that investors are shying away from WiFi in anticipation of the arrival of 5G networks. On the contrary, there are several reasons why WiFi will be around for a long time.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • 1.1 Key Findings

2. WIFI TECHNOLOGY EVOLUTION

  • 2.1 802.11s (WiFi Mesh)
  • 2.2 802.11ad (WiGig)
  • 2.3 802.11ax
  • 2.4 Wi-Fi Vantage
  • 2.5 Future Improvements
  • 2.6 Integration With LTE

3. WHY WIFI IS HERE TO STAY

  • 3.1 WiFi Growth Outdoors
  • 3.2 Increasing Dependence Within the Home & Office
  • 3.3 Robust Device Markets
  • 3.4 The Spectrum Challenge

4. WIFI & 5G - HOW DOES THAT WORK?

  • 4.1 WiFi's Role in Testing 5G
  • 4.2 5G as a WiFi Enabler
  • 4.3 5G WiFi Integrated

5. MONEY KILLS 4G & 5G IN THE HOME

  • 5.1 The Threat to WiFi From Unlicensed LTE in Enterprise Settings
  • 5.2 The Impact of Legacy Connectivity

6. CONCLUSIONS

TERMS OF USE

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