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 this insightful Light Reading radio show, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will outline the key service provider challenges, deployment considerations, next-gen Gigabit technologies, and service models to win market share in the rapidly growing MDU market.
The MDU market continues to face fierce competition among service providers due to tech-savvy residents (i.e., millennials), demand from building owners and management companies, plus the favorable economics of bulk contracts. However, no MDUs are the same, so service providers must use multiple technologies and inconsistent deployment models, increasing operational complexity and rollout costs.
The MDU market itself is evolving as residents adopt smart-home technologies, generating rising demand for smart apartments with built-in connected thermostats, keyless entryways and doors, and video doorbells. This evolution presents both new challenges and opportunities. In other words, service providers must consider innovative service-delivery strategies to compete and win.
In this Broadband World News and ADTRAN webinar, Kurt Raaflaub, Head of Strategic Solutions Marketing, will highlight emerging MDU broadband Internet trends and challenges. In addition, Kurt will outline the next-generation service creation and delivery platform, built on open standards, that allows service providers to connect millions of underserved MDUs, enables creation of user-driven services, and reduces operational complexity and costs.
Plus, special guest, Alice Lawson, Broadband and Cable Program Manager for the City of Seattle, will discuss Seattle’s B4B-Build For Broadband initiative that addresses best practices in planning for MDU telecommunication infrastructure.