For a CIO, 5G is likely to be an imperative component of organizational strategies. While exploring the aptest way to implement and leverage the 5G networks, Wi-Fi 6 may also turn critical.
FREMONT, CA: Following several years of planning and research, the 5G networks are finally becoming a reality in selected regions in the world such as the U.S. and South Korea, with many more to follow. The promising trends surrounding the technology were numerous, including enhanced availability, non-existent latency, and enhanced wireless bandwidth.
These advantages are sure to cause fundamental changes in the existing network infrastructure. All enterprises will have to alter their wireless strategies to stay ahead of the positive changes and leverage most of the benefits arising through these networks. There is an increased reliance on CIOs to plan and implement network strategies in accordance with the present challenges.
Although 5G is still in its nascent stages, CIOs have realized the need to plan ahead of time. As a CIO, it is imperative to understand the technology completely. Its requirements, benefits, necessity, potentials, and the entire details are critically important for any leadership. Ultimately, the entire attempt surrounding 5G comes down to deriving effective strategies to leverage the technology fully. Experts are of the opinion that CIOs will be provided with total freedom in the way the computing and communications infrastructure is being deployed.
Therefore, now is the ideal time for CIOs across sectors to check on their existing network infrastructure to plan a systematic upgrade or a total replacement or changes to software or hardware being used to pave the way for the 5G networks. Also, it is essential to consider technologies which if integrated with 5G, can multiply its benefits. That’s where the Wi-Fi 6 assumes significance for a CIO. Similar to the advancement to 5G from 4G, Wi-Fi has also undergone a change to Wi-Fi 6.
What Differentiates 5G and Wi-Fi 6?
The primary differentiating factor for these technologies is that each caters to different use-cases. 5G is expected to cater to a selected range of applications in macro range use cases in the industrial world. Meanwhile, Wi-Fi 6 is the most dependable and cost-effective access technology for a large number of use cases.
5G, as a most recent cellular technology, delivers higher performance levels and reduced latency, enhancing user experience across specific use cases. The technology will be driven by enterprises belonging to the 3GPP, the Third Generation Partnership Project.
Wi-Fi 6, also referred to as the 802.11 ax, is designed to tackle the connectivity issues concerning high-density networks. Wi-Fi 6 is capable of improving the performance of the complete network system. There is a wide range of innovative features which permit a simultaneous transmission provided by multiple clients. Consequently, network capacity increases by about four times.
In other words, both these technologies come with high-end features that can improve the experience for applications that are latency-sensitive. Examples include video and voice. Coming to 5G, the technology is all set to serve selected applications in macro range and industrial use cases.
By the end of 2019, Wi-Fi 6 is expected to be incorporated into almost the entire medium to premium smartphones, notebook computers, and tablets. Similarly, 5G is beginning to be supported by a wide range of premium smartphones, and within about two years, its availability as part of devices is sure to increase. 5G base stations would also be deployed increasingly in a selected few magazines, and its coverage will increase.
Wi-Fi 6 and 5G Together
Whether 5G will ultimately replace Wi-Fi 6 has been a topic of discussion in the technological space. However, what a CIO should consider is how to combine these two technologies effectively. In fact, the possibilities of 5G and Wi-Fi 6 together are being increasingly explored.
CIOs actively considering 5G need to be worrying about the influence of Wi-Fi 6 together with 5G. Wi-Fi 6 is much faster than its earlier versions and the present generation of 802.11 ac devices. What is critical is that 5G is less fast compared to the Wi-Fi 6.
However, both the technologies have immense potential to work together. Of which, the most noteworthy is the capability for traffic to be transmitted among 5G and Wi-Fi networks. To explain, a communication session, which begins on a 5G network on a wireless carrier, can be handed off impeccably to the Wi-Fi 6 network.
The contemporary Wi-Fi 6 networks come with an improved level of resources management, control, and granularity, unlike the earlier days. Cellular standards and Wi-Fi can continue to coordinate by interchanging the advances of one over another. As an example, for cellular, it is now possible to function in an unlicensed spectrum. Through Wi-Fi 6, it is achievable to run many clients as compared to the previous networks. These features make the Wi-Fi 6 a viable option to be compared with 5G.
Also, through close coordination of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, the speeds can become comparable. As a result, CIOs would have many options to decide what network to depend upon and where.
Further, the 5G architecture can decouple the Radio Access Network and the cellular core. As a result, Wi-Fi 6 could function as an enterprise radio front to connect tightly with the 5G core. The economics of Wi-Fi 6 is extremely favorable, and the performance levels are high. In the future, several service providers are expected to end up leveraging Wi-Fi as their radio front end for their 5G networks. This use is mostly another option instead of small cell systems or distributed antennae.
In conclusion, Wi-Fi 6, combined with 5G, has been able to alter the way enterprises work. As a CIO, it is critical to thoroughly analyze these technologies and combine them in such a way that both complement each other to leverage their potential effectively.