In its 20-year history, TeleSemana.com has never tired of explaining that in almost all cases and with very rare exceptions, mobile and Wi-Fi technologies have been more complementary than competitors. Tech wars, why not admit it, are fun.
Once again the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has done just that by announcing a new publication on the importance of the integration of 5G and Wi-Fi in delivering seamless access-agnostic connections to enterprise enterprises. A report titled Personal 5G and Wi-Fi Integration: Key Use Cases and RequirementsIt outlines the role that existing and new Wi-Fi infrastructure still has to play in maximizing the potential of 5G, helping companies move to fully converged platforms that deliver wide coverage without friction, announces the report. .
The report, led by WBA members Cisco and HPE Aruba Networking, explains that Wi-Fi is already the primary network in most enterprises, and the short-term benefits that 5G offers will depend on an organization’s ability to integrate with existing Wi-Fi. capabilities, and ultimately move to a fully integrated platform that provides unmanaged, enhanced roaming. The enterprise already has mature infrastructure around identity management, authentication, and policy and management, and plugging private 5G into this environment requires reusing this information rather than deploying parallel infrastructure.
The evolution from Wi-Fi to Wi-Fi 6E will deliver capabilities determined by the number of users that can connect and throughput, and the IoT landscape will deliver faster speeds and reduced latency.
In the United States in 2017, data from Wi-Fi networks accounted for 36 percent of commercial Internet traffic. By the end of 2023, that number is expected to rise to more than 50 percent, reflecting the growing need for reliable Wi-Fi connectivity as businesses increase their number of devices. The advent of new IoT use cases is increasing the demand for 5G private networks in enterprises. Mobility, reliability, determinism, ultra-low latency, and security are key drivers of Wi-Fi adoption in enterprise networks.
Wi-Fi—The report highlights how Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E and Wi-Fi 7 will play a key role in business connectivity. , for new mission-critical applications such as chemical spill detection or water level and flood management.
Several regulators are actively considering implementing private use of cellular spectrum. In the United States, there is 150 MHz of reserved spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band (3550–3700 MHz) that is licensed to facilitate adoption by private networks. Similar approaches are taking place in the EU and other regions for private spectrum allocations, paving the way for 5G adoption. For this 5G adoption to be successful, integrating with Wi-Fi 6E and other business elements to realize an access-aware service layer with improved user experience will be something that enterprises cannot overlook.
Wi-Fi 6E offers several advanced enterprise-grade capabilities in the 6 GHz spectrum. These are already well integrated with many 5G service profiles designed for enterprise applications including factory automation, smart metering, mining, hosting, fault management and monitoring.
The article describes four possible deployment models for bringing 5G to enterprise networks and key considerations in choosing each, such as the nature of the application, latency at the core and RAN interfaces, and the location and capacity of service management.
“Enterprise network architectures are increasingly complex and have evolved and refined over time to support a variety of access technologies, including Wi-Fi and Ethernet. Private 5G networks can quickly and cost-effectively build this foundation as part of a suite of access technologies that companies can use to address their needs,” says Diego Rodriguez, CEO of WBA. .
This document is the first phase of a multi-step plan designed to provide companies with a viable model for adopting and converging Wi-Fi and private 5G. A second phase in the third quarter of 2023 will move beyond modeling to implementation guidelines and test cases.