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7th Oct 2017


WiFi will be fundamental to 5G

When you think of 5G, those “in-the-know” think about the Internet of Things (IoT) and how many billions of connected devices there’ll be in 10 years time – amazing when you think about it, but, most people forget the need to be able to use reliable WiFi, and actually, this will play a huge role in the stability of 5G.

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) understands from over 60 telecom-tech companies that 5G will come to be formed by a combination of licensed and unlicensed technologies. The generational leap (802.11ax) is expected to become one of the key components and 5G is following WiFi in adopting a number of key capabilities, such as the use of an EAP authentication framework.

Interestingly enough, the key areas of interest were “Smart Cities” and “Saftey/Surveillance” which will heavily rely on a converged next-generation network. The white paper from WBA outlines precisely what needs to be done to prepare for 5G, including enhancements to the WRIX framework that will meet the needs of 5G roaming.

“While plans to roll out 5G networks are well on their way, the industry still needs to agree upon the standards for the technology before 2020. The WBA has put together this report to highlight the significant impact that WiFi is having on the definition of 5G and what we as an organisation can do to bridge the gap between licensed and unlicensed technologies within this time-frame.” Shrikant Shenwai, CEO, Wireless Broadband Alliance

FYI – for those that don’t know, the WBA was founded 14 years ago with the mission to “…champion the development of the wireless broadband ecosystem through a number of interoperable unlicensed wireless broadband services.” Existing members include BT, Comcast, Cisco, Microsoft, Huawei Technologies and Google.