Wireless: It’s Wi-Fi, It’s 5G. It’s Both.


In 2020, Wi-Fi 6 will enter the enterprise, through the employee door and through enterprise access point refreshes. 5G will also appear, although in 2020, it will be mostly for consumers.

The latest smartphones from Apple, Samsung, and other manufacturers are Wi-Fi 6 enabled, and Wi-Fi 6 access points are currently shipping to businesses and consumers. 5G phones are not yet in wide circulation, although that will begin to change in 2020. We project that through 2020 more people will be using Wi-Fi 6 than 5G.

2020 will also see the beginning of a big improvement in how people use Wi-Fi networks. The growth of the OpenRoaming project will make joining participating Wi-Fi networks as easy as using a cell phone in a new town: Users won’t have to think about it.

While “5G” service will roll out in 2020 (some is already switched on today), almost none of it will be the ultra-high speed connectivity that we have been promised or that we will see in future years. With 5G unable to deliver on that promise initially, we will see a lot of high-speed wireless traffic offloaded to Wi-Fi networks.

2020 will also see the adoption of new frequency bands, including the beginning of the rollout of “millimeter wave” (24Ghz to 100Ghz) spectrum for ultra-fast, but short-range 5G; and of CBRS, at about 3.5Ghz, which may lead to the creation of new private networks that use LTE and 5G technology, especially for IoT applications. We will also see continued progress in opening up the 6 GHz range for unlicensed Wi-Fi usage in the United States and the rest of world.
Eventually, having even more pervasive, high-speed, secure wireless connectivity will open up new kinds of business opportunities in all industries, from healthcare to transportation. In combination with the improved performance of both Wi-Fi 6 and (eventually) 5G, we are in for a large – and long-lived – period of innovation in access networking.
More information about wireless, please check out www.skywardtel.com.