In recent years there has been a rise in the demand for wireless internet access. Most workplaces and even homes now use Wi-Fi as their main internet source, where no wires are required to provide the connection through the router. This technology has almost made internet access via cables obsolete in many ways, besides to compliment a wireless structure.
The rise of mobile data
Along with the growth of Wi-Fi has come the increase of mobile data, as the demand for internet access on-the-go has become the norm. In some ways, this has acted in competition with Wi-Fi but new initiatives suggest that Wi-Fi may have an exciting new place within the future development of internet and mobile data.
The IEEE and their expertise in Wi-Fi
In the past, The IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) has been vocal about their position on different areas of technology, but at this stage they are keeping their stance on new 5G cellular technology extremely private. As a custodian of Wi-Fi this raises the question where is Wi-Fi heading, and will it play a role in future 5G networks?
What do we know about the relationship between Wi-Fi and 5G?
In March 2017 a release from ZTE gave an insight into the relationship being developed between Wi-Fi and 5G technology. There is a lot of speculation around this relationship however it is predicted that the collaboration of these technologies could lead to the highest standards yet in wireless connectivity for both portable and fixed stations within any area, whilst standardising access.
WLAN could be important in the future of 5G
It is currently predicted that WLAN will become a key component within 5G technology, and it will be supported alongside a range of different network types. There are many variants that affect 5G, including the 802.11ah standard, which is seeking to increase the extended range, and the P802.11ba which is in development to utilise the idea of using two radio devices to “wake up” the other and ensure greater energy efficiency and low latency at the same time.
Advancement of 5G
The advancement of 5G still requires a lot of refinement and development but the long-term goal is aiming to build on current technology and help users transition to the latest internet offering. It is predicted that we will see a clearer roadmap towards the end of this year which will determine in more detail the role of Wi-Fi and its role in 5G data.
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