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Articles & News

Articles & News

 

LOOKING AT 5G, SEEING WI-FI: THE ROLE OF UNLICENSED SPECTRUM

(credit to RCRWireless.com)

By Kelly Hill on SEPTEMBER 6, 2017

WBA sees Wi-Fi as a major influence on 5G visions being laid out for cellular systems

What will be the role of Wi-Fi and unlicensed spectrum in a 5G world? The Wireless Broadband Alliance has put out an initial industry assessment on the part that unlicensed spectrum, and Wi-Fi technologies in particular, is playing as the industry focuses on the next generation of wireless technology.

Although the 5G standard is not expected to be officially complete until 2020, one thing is for sure, the WBA concluded: 5G will be “a combination of licensed and unlicensed technologies.” Wwhen the WBA looks at the conversations around 5G, it sees strategies and features that have already been adopted in the Wi-Fi ecosystem, according to a new white paper.

Similarities between Wi-Fi and 5G

WBA pointed out a number of similarities between Wi-Fi and the visions for 5G, from use cases to leveraging millimeter wave spectrum to the potential for neutral-host systems.

“The 5G value chain evolution is following a path that, to date, has been focused on Wi-Fi based technologies,” WBA said.

Some of the business and use cases being posited for 5G systems are in verticals that are currently often served by Wi-Fi. “New 5G environments such as factories, cities, automotive, energy, and ehealth are typically served by private networks, frequently based on Wi-Fi technology,” WBA wrote.

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Amanda Duffy