Wireless Broadband Alliance CEO Shrikant Shenwai called on the industry and providers of Wi-Fi technology to collaborate to assess the best approach for the coexistence of licensed and unlicensed technologies in the era of 5G.
The organisation, which has regularly talked-up Wi-Fi’s role in helping to deliver use cases most commonly associated with 5G, said it had defined three key approaches to bring the two technologies together. It urged stakeholders to begin trials of the options to define a common framework ahead of full 5G launch.
“As the largest internet access capability, Wi-Fi is a legitimate part of the 5G technology landscape,” Shenwai said. “The WBA is advocating a future of collaboration and integration of Wi-Fi and 5G cellular technologies to realise their full potential, but the industry must work together.”
“Any operator CTO teams that are defining their future strategies will be thinking about the different ways of integrating unlicensed and licensed technologies. Yet they are at a crossroads: wait for 5G” to be fully operational and available “or make investments in unlicensed technologies now that will pay off in the future?”
In a study into the methods of integration published the organisation today (26 October), it identified different options: access centric; core-focussed; and above-the-core solutions. All three treat the relationship between mobile and Wi-Fi technologies slightly differently, and will have different financial implications.
WBA said its own investigation advocated solutions which “treat Wi-Fi as a peer of the cellular network”. It added it would work with the GSMA and other stakeholders to identify best practice of integrating the two technology types.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back