The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), the industry association focused on driving the next generation Wi-Fi experience, has launched a report detailing how carrier-grade Wi-Fi networks are set to drive an explosion in new services.
The report, compiled by Maravedis Rethink Research, details how new Wi-Fi networks will support many applications which were limited or impossible before, driving new service developments in areas such as the Internet of Things (IoT), 5G, converged services and the infrastructure for smart cities.
The past few years have seen a massive expansion of public Wi-Fi around the world, in parallel the technology platform has been evolving rapidly and is now emerging as a fully carrier-grade network, poised to revolutionize the services and business models which it can support. As these networks have become increasingly robust, with higher levels of QoS and bandwidth they have provided a platform for service innovation and development.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the Wi-Fi sector and new capabilities such as faster data rates (802.11ac hotspots), seamless authentication and hand-off to cellular (enabled by NGH and Passpoint), together with wider roaming, carrier-grade networks and subscriber management, and improved QoS and security.
It also provides a detailed synopsis of the new business opportunities enabled by Wi-Fi evolution in areas including; voice services, location and proximity, smart city, consumer IoT, Quad play services and HetNets.
In addition it provides an update on the overall Wi-Fi ecosystem, including hotspot deployment patterns, approaches to spectrum bands (including the LTE-LAA debate) and the evolution towards 5G.
“2015 will be a landmark year for Wi-Fi, with key technical and market developments which will enable new business models for existing and new service providers,” said Caroline Gabriel of Maravedis Rethink Research.
“As well as driving new hotspot build-outs and service launches in the 1-3 year timeframe, it will also lay the foundations for Wi-Fi’s prominent role in the wireless world of 2020, which will see an even bigger explosion of consumer, enterprise and IoT services and providers.”
“The past few years have been transformative for the Wi-Fi industry. The technology is now carrier-grade, having matured in terms of robustness, bandwidth and user experience. This has led to an explosion of deployments around the world creating the perfect environment for service innovation,” said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance.
“This shift will spark an explosion in the range of services which consumers and enterprises can use, and in the monetization options for operators. “
The complete report is available for download from the WBA resource centre at http://www.wballiance.com/resource-center/login/