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What is 5G? 1Gbps-plus wireless to enable mobile-only networking

What is 5G? 1Gbps-plus wireless to enable mobile-only networking

How soon is truly high speed wireless going to available to the end user and will it actually be enough to fill the gap?

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The next step in the evolution of wireless WAN communications – known as 5G – is about to hit the front pages, and for good reason: it will complete the evolution of cellular from wireline augmentation to wireline replacement, and strategically from mobile-first to mobile-only. Even though at its core 5G is more about evolution than revolution, it’s not too early to start least basic planning to understanding how 5G will fit into and benefit IT plans across organizations of all sizes, industries and missions. 5G will of course provide end-users with the additional throughput, capacity, and other elements to address the continuing and dramatic growth in geographic availability, user base, range of subscriber devices, demand for capacity, and application requirements, but will also and equally importantly enable carriers, operators, and service providers to benefit from new opportunities in overall strategy, service offerings, and broadened marketplace presence. This article explores the technologies and market drivers behind 5G, with an emphasis on what 5G means to enterprise and organizational IT.

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Use wired networks for Gigabit, not Wi-Fi

Use wired networks for Gigabit, not Wi-Fi

This is interesting – particularly with all of the work being done in the world of wireless networking these days. What are your thoughts on the speed and, more importantly, the reliability of wireless networking in today’s networks?

Our partners at HP and Aruba have been making great strides in wireless networks and I feel like they won’t be happy until there’s minimal (if any) difference in a wired network versus a wireless network. How do you think they’re doing?

Credit: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch Thousand megabit broadband is a turning point for internet delivery speeds. Newer tech, such as virtual reality, and the incumbents, such as video streaming, will benefit. Right now, though, only about 17 percent of the U.S.’s population has access to those super-fast speeds, which are primarily delivered by fiber, according to Viavi Solution’s latest Gigabit Monitor report . Although Gigabit is kicking in, it’s not going to be particularly simple to implement at the networking level, internet metrics company Ookla said earlier this month. Upgraded, wired installs will likely handle the throughput better than existing, now commonly used Wi-Fi, among other things, the company said. “Getting Gigabit service and adjusting your set-up to achieve top speeds is harder than you might think,” wrote Isla McFetta, content manager for Ookla, in a guide produced for Speedtest.net ’s users. The guide, geared towards consumers and published on the medium.com website, focuses on how to get ready and optimized for Gigabit-speed fixed-broadband Internet . One of the recommendations Ookla made: “While Wi-Fi technology is catching up, you’ll still likely see better speeds if you plug that Cat 6 Ethernet cable directly into your computer.” McFetta said if the user […]

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The WiFi You Know Today is Only Getting Better

This week, there was a gathering of professionals at the WiFi Now event to discuss the prospective future of WiFi. While it seems that many of the outlooks were positive, when it comes to WiFi, nothing is ever a 100% guaranteed. Though there are a lot of exciting things to look forward to, there will also be challenges that professionals need to prepare themselves for.

The Initial Plans for WiFi

The WiFi Now event hosted exhibitions and sessions that focused on topics like consumers, enterprise, and service provider technologies. With all that was going on at the event, though, certain individuals were more interested in the “Enterprise Technology” area more than anything else. That’s because this particular section included information on emerging IEEE 802.11 standards.

Though we already know how essential it is for people to have WiFI in their lives, it was clear at this exhibition that they still wanted more. People today are so reliant on WiFi that they are constantly increasing the number of devices they have connected to their network. Therefore, the need for better, faster, and denser connections are not only desired, but expected.

In fact, one of the biggest of WiFi users at the convention, Qualcomm’s Gopi Sirineni, said that even with the sixty-two devices he himself has already successfully hooked up to WiFi, “802.11ax in the 2.4GHz and 5 GHz bands will be addressing some very real WiFi density needs.”

This will mean that for people like Sirineni, a change from the traditional contention-based allocation schemes used in earlier 802.11 WLAN types to schedule-based resource allocation technology is on the horizon.

Addressing Speed and Other Concerns

One of the main concerns people have for the future of WiFi is the speed of it. After discussions at the conference, it seems as though 802.11ad and 802.11ay will be the biggest contributing factors to increasing WiFi speeds while also addressing connectivity concerns. Some companies, such as Peraso, Dell, and Qualcomm, plan on pushing out 11ad when 2.5 and 5 GHz fail to do the job. The ultimate goal is that all devices people use will be not only WiFi capable, but will function on an extremely strong and reliable network.

Besides speed, other concerns with these type of advanced WiFi connections include furthering the WiFi’s reach. When it comes to 802.11ah, speed is less of a concern than distance, which developers are trying to improve so that WiFi can ultimately reach up to a mile. In addition to working on improving distance functionality, another concern includes power consumption, since the target market would be the Internet of Things. But, as long as developers are aware of these concerns, the more likely it is that there will be action taken.

Which brings us to our next point….

Growing WiFi

As more goal-orientated WiFi technologies get built, having an arsenal of WiFI technologies on deck is crucial. Companies need to be able to expand way beyond the ordinary home connection to connect whole countries or denser networks, such as the NYC Subway System.

Brian Jacks of BAI Communications talked about how his company is working on a method to introduce WiFI accessibility to subway riders. And, not only that, but monetizing it as well. Currently, the Transit Wireless network is a project that has costed $300 million, but it’s clearly been resonating with users as there were 10.5 million sessions in March alone.

This particular type of WiFi installation is believed to be the densest in North America. But, in order to leverage such complex infrastructure, one needs to understand all the potential uses of WiFi in a situation like this. This includes everything from rider connectivity to countdown clocks so users won’t get charged.

Transit Wireless uses data analytics to track devices and how people are using the network overall. This is so they can improve the network as best as they can, and in such a way that other developers can learn from it. Although a subway system in New York may be an example of “big” WiFi, it’s nothing like what India is doing. India is currently using 4G and fiber rollouts to establish more than 70,000 access points and will establish more than a million over the next year.

When it comes to the future of WiFi, the sky is clearly the limit.

More Ways to Go

Currently, there are many different ways to approach WiFi. For example, companies like Mojo Networks have taken risks with their WiFi network, as they have adopted an infrastructure that can be referred to as a “controllerless architecture.” This kind of network could be supported by a whole array of different access points, and though there are uncertainties involved, taking this risk could prove to be more useful in the long run.

Beyond Mojo’s example, there’s a lot to be proud of when it comes to WiFi. Head of the Wi-Fi Alliance, Edgar Figueroa, said that as of 2015, Wifi carried more than half of all Internet traffic. While that’s a great achievement, it’s also a lot for users and developers alike to take on. In the future, there will need to be more spectrum to handle the increase in WiFi demands, despite efforts from 802.11ax utilization. There will also need to be co-existence across the airwaves for different industries, so WiFi can be more fluid overall.

Though there’s a long ways to go, it’s clear that WiFi continues to get bigger and better every time we take another look at it. Where will WiFi be in a few months from now? What about a few years? Keep your eye out!

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