According to the latest report from the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), the association announced its publication of the “Blueprint for 5G and WiFi 6 Convergence” with input from mobile carriers, WiFi providers, telecom manufacturers, and its own 5G Working Group.
The report, expanding on the WBA and NGMN RAN convergence whitepaper from 2019 articulated the benefits and use-cases of WiFi 6 and 5G convergence.
The report outlines how businesses and operators stand to gain from the seamless integration of WiFi and cellular access in the 5G networks, including: scenarios for operators and access providers, allowing them to deliver a more seamless user experience and maintain better visibility and overall control of the networks.
- Industry 4.0: The potential use of both 5G NR and WiFi access dramatically improves connectivity and traffic steering on the factory floor across both accesses, facilitating greater utility of artificial intelligence and machine learning.
- Smart City: 5G NR and WiFi access can interoperate to create uninterrupted connections, and traffic to data-hungry edge applications can be more easily managed.
- At home: The availability of both accesses allows a mix of traffic options in residential applications to boost connectivity and provide a more well-rounded end-user experience.
- WiFi only devices: Convergence enables the availability and reach of 5G services and applications to more devices in many more locations with the support for WiFi only devices.
“The convergence of WiFi 6 and 6E, and 5G is a win-win scenario for end-users, cellular and WiFi players,” said WBA CEO, Tiago Rodrigues. “The continued development of 5G and WiFi 6 and 6E networks presents almost limitless potential for industry 4.0, residential connectivity, connected smart cities and more, but convergence is critical for all parties if we are to truly capitalize on the potential this technology has to offer. This paper provides a path forward for regulators and industry bodies that stands to benefit all, giving stakeholders the ability to cost-effectively improve performance while also retaining control and maximizing their return on investment.”
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