Service providers' ongoing rollout of mesh networks and other solutions that leverage WiFi to strengthen home connectivity validate the important role WiFi 6 will play in smart homes, smart cities and other broadband deployments.
More than 1 billion WiFi 6 chipsets will ship by 2022, according to ABI Research. That's only three years after the first commercial deployments begin next year, the research firm said.
Many traditional telco-focused vendors are among those incorporating the latest WiFi standard into their newest products or acquisition targets to ensure future plans include WiFi capabilities. Just today, for example, ADTRAN acquired SmartRG, a developer of carrier-class, open-source connected home platforms and cloud services, such as cloud-management, analytics, WiFi-enabled residential gateways and SmartOS software. (See How Fiber Plays a Key Role in Orange's Convergent Network Plans.)
This fall, Calix released two versions of its GigaSpire smart home system with EXOS. The device -- which looks like a slightly larger model of a smart-home speaker or a sleeker router -- include WiFi 6, along with an alphabet soup of other protocols and Amazon Alexa. (Join us for a webinar on December 12 at noon EST, 9 am PST, to hear Calix and Amazon Alexa executives discuss how service providers can benefit from the voice opportunity. Register here.) (See With Amazon Alexa, Calix Translates Smart Home Opp Into Reality.)
For its part, the Wireless Broadband Association ensured WiFi 6 featured backwards compatibility, focused on return on investment and cheaper deployment costs, and empowered operators to deliver some early 5G use cases, Tiago Rodrigues, WBA general manager, told Broadband World News.
That's worked well to further expand the popularity of WiFi among operators and municipalities, he said.
"Some deploy their own broadband infrastructures, either by providing WiFi in certain situations or in certain areas or buildings -- schools, libraries, parks. They work very closely as well with the carriers," Rodrigues said. "There is interest, the appetite, to explore any type of technology to provide broadband that is cheaper and deliver faster broadband access to any of their residents. If its possible using the assets that already exist on the ground, perfect. They will do that. If the assets that are already on the ground are not available or not properly used, they are more than willing to explore wireless technology."
In the American Broadband Initiative Milestones Report out today, 20 federal agencies pledge to simplify and accelerate the process for service providers to deliver broadband into America's countryside.
A HIMSS Analytics survey, sponsored by Spectrum Enterprise, identifies five patient experience initiatives to where healthcare providers can boost the customer experience and bring in higher margins using advanced broadband networks.
Partner ecosystem is getting more diverse and Calix relies on broader base of service providers to sell, support and use its software- and cloud-based offerings, President and CEO Carl Russo tells analysts.
Tune in to Broadband World News Radio on February 14 at 11 a.m. ET / 8 a.m. PT / 4 p.m. UK when John Isch, Practice Director of the Network and Voice Center of Excellence at Orange Business Services, discusses use cases, ROI and misconceptions of software-defined wide-area networks, virtualization and cloud.
Consumers are buying millions of IoT devices, from smart thermostats and security systems to intelligent entertainment setups and furniture. Yet many of these devices remain isolated because home users are uncomfortable connecting them to each other – or even their WiFi. After all, their WiFi network was probably designed only to handle a few laptops, a gaming system and a couple of smartphones. Now, demand on the network is surging and even though you're delivering 100 Mbps to 1 Gbps, that doesn't necessarily mean the broadband power is in the right place or reaches every corner of a home.
Even if WiFi coverage is sufficient, typing is not on trend. Voice is far more natural, easier and faster. Using a TV keyboard is archaic when more and more households have access to cloud-based voice services, like Amazon Alexa. This webinar will explore how service providers can create a comfortable, truly smart home for consumers – simultaneously driving up margin and loyalty.