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Please STOP confusing Wi-Fi with 5G
March 30, 2018 | By Claus Hetting @ Wi-Fi NOW (claus@wifinowevents.com)
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We are pleased to share with you all an interesting article contributed by Claus Hetting.


Claus Hetting

CEO & Chairman at Wi-Fi NOW 



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Let me be brief: Wi-Fi - yes, the technology that you love that runs on nearly all the connected devices you own nearly all the time - has nothing to do with so-called '5G'. Even the new Wi-Fi standard (called 802.11ax and not yet finalised) also has nothing what so ever to do with '5G'.


Here's what you need to know: '5G' is a 3GPP mobile standard, just like LTE. Right now, only one proper 5G standard exists and it's called 5G NR (NSA). That standard is entirely unrelated to Wi-Fi. It's simply an add-on to existing 4G/LTE networks.


In fact, Wi-Fi standards are not owned by, controlled by, nor even influenced by the 3GPP or any other part of the '5G' community. Wi-Fi standards are created by IEEE 802.11 task groups and Wi-Fi devices are certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.


Yet there are a number of organisations who deliberately want to instigate confusion and - frankly - appear to want to deceive parts of the industry into believing that Wi-Fi is 'part of 5G'. There are a few pretty obvious reasons why they would want to do that. Here are some of the reasons spelled out:

  • Wi-Fi is incredibly successful. Calling Wi-Fi 'part of 5G' is tantamount to hijacking the success of Wi-Fi and attributing it to 5G, which thus far has had zero success and hardly exists. Games like that are devious and unacceptable.
  • Categorising Wi-Fi under the heading of '5G' is the first step - the second devious step (in the minds of some parts of the mobile industry) is to replace Wi-Fi (802.11) with 'real 5G technology' in the unlicensed bands. In that way, 'convergence' can be achieved. Be wary of the 'convergence' word. It usually means replacing Wi-Fi with technology that can only realistically be owned and operated by big carriers.
  • Current Wi-Fi market strongholds - indoor, high-density, enterprise, etc. - are big targets for future 5G services. By saying that Wi-Fi is part of the '5G family' the 5G folks are trying to set up a fait accompli for market entry. Don't fall for it.

So how about in the future? Will all wireless standards be operating under one 'master' networking standard called '5G'? The answer is no. And if you're still confused about all this read this blog on the Wi-Fi NOW website.

Thank you for visiting Netmanias! Please leave your comment if you have a question or suggestion.

[HFR Private 5G: my5G]


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