Data, interconnectivity and immersive technologies are transforming the world and impacting every area of our lives. Developments like the tactile internet and other greater innovations will benefit both consumer and business. Hence, new networking capabilities will be required to make the most of these opportunities and Service Providers will be front and center to meet these demands.
A seamless experience
5G is being launched and is expected to account for 13% of mobile traffic by 2022 – this will only increase in the future. While 5G is going to be a key part of the future of connectivity, Wi-Fi remains an important component, with the two working in tandem.
Just think of a typical day in the 21st-century, internet connectivity is provided by both mobile data and Wi-Fi. It begins in the morning on the home Wi-Fi network; then commuting to work, it switches to mobile internet; arriving at work it, it automatically connects to the company Wi-Fi system; on the move for an appointment or on a lunch break, it’s back to mobile data; etc. You get the idea: for both consumers and businesses, flexibility is key and life is made easier with both technologies.
Moreover, as Wi-Fi continues to evolve to meet the most stringent application demands and with the introduction of Open Roaming, the opportunity for the Service Providers to provide seamless Wi-Fi and 5G services to consumer and enterprise is becoming even greater.
Introducing WIFI 6
A lot of investment has been made into 5G to develop new capabilities around latency and throughput. In fact, one of the reasons for the deployment of 5G is the need for reliable indoor coverage in challenging environments. For now, it remains an evolving solution, best utilised with Wi-Fi – the two are complementary.
What does this mean for service providers? In short, if you’re making the important step of investing in 5G, you’ll need supporting technologies to unlock its full benefits. This is where WiFi 6 comes in. It’s a wireless connection offering comparable capabilities to 5G, including higher reliability, faster-enhanced capacity, and battery-saving capabilities. These attributes make it ideal for supporting the technology needed by businesses both today and in the future – including voice and video services and the Internet of Things.
Both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 offer the power to support the services businesses need. It’s only when they’re deployed alongside each other that the full potential of either is realized.
For Service Providers wanting to seize future opportunities through offering connectivity across 5G and Wi-Fi 6, Cisco is the natural choice thanks to Cisco’s evolution in Wi-Fi.
The path to Wi-Fi-6 begins with Cisco’s Wi-Fi 6 supported wireless portfolio.
Seamless connectivity is a key capability to favor the use of wireless networks and this is where Open Roaming comes in. Open Roaming applies to Wi-Fi connectivity and uses brand new technology to enable mobile devices to detect when the user is in range of a network and then automatically connect them – meaning they can roam without interruption across different types of connections from different providers. Open Roaming bridges the gap between the connection of devices from one network to another, authentically and seamlessly.
In addition to Open Roaming, the next-generation mobile core allows to aggregate of Wi-Fi and 5G traffic on the same platform taking the seamless connectivity one step further.
Cisco’s vision is to create the seamless operation of devices across many different networks – whether wireless or mobile, using the latest developments in 5G to bring this to successful completion. For us, 5G isn’t just about the radio but also being able to support other networks.
We’re hugely excited to be developing partnerships across the industry to build a bridge between mobile and Wi-Fi networks. And it’s thrilling to think about where this could lead in the future. We live in a connected world, and it’s through working together that we’ll unlock the future of networking.