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Wireless Broadband Alliance Releases Blueprint for 5G and Wi-Fi 6 Convergence

New trade pointers spotlight vital position Wi-Fi will play within the long-term success of 5G

Outlines convergence alternatives for optimizing enterprise innovation and buyer expertise

London, 26 January 2021 – Convergence between Wi-Fi and 5G entry applied sciences is vital for enabling new breed of providers, purposes and experiences similar to Trade 4.0, AR/VR, Related Cities and Edge Computing. That’s in keeping with the latest report from the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), developed with enter from cell carriers, Wi-Fi suppliers, telecom producers, and its personal 5G Working Group.

The report, increasing on the WBA and NGMN RAN convergence whitepaper from 2019 which articulated the advantages and use-cases of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G convergence, gives a breakdown of the present requirements and key enterprise alternatives for operators.

Companies and operators stand to achieve an amazing deal from the seamless integration of Wi-Fi and mobile entry within the 5G networks, together with:

  • Public & Enterprise Wi-Fi: Will increase deployment prospects and situations for operators and entry suppliers, permitting them to ship a extra seamless person expertise and keep higher visibility and total management of the networks.
  • Trade 4.0: The potential use of each 5G NR and Wi-Fi entry dramatically improves connectivity and site visitors steering on the manufacturing unit ground throughout each accesses, facilitating better utility of synthetic intelligence and machine studying.
  • Good Metropolis: 5G NR and Wi-Fi entry can interoperate to create uninterrupted connections, and site visitors to data-hungry edge purposes will be extra simply managed.
  • At residence: The supply of each accesses permits a mixture of site visitors choices in residential purposes to spice up connectivity and supply a extra well-rounded end-user expertise.
  • Wi-Fi solely gadgets: Convergence permits the supply and attain of 5G providers and purposes to extra gadgets in lots of extra places with the assist for Wi-Fi solely gadgets.

“The convergence of Wi-Fi 6 & 6E and 5G is a win-win situation for end-users, mobile and Wi-Fi gamers,” mentioned WBA CEO, Tiago Rodrigues. “The continued growth of 5G and Wi-Fi 6 & 6E networks presents nearly limitless potential for trade 4.0, residential connectivity, related sensible cities and extra, however convergence is vital for all events if we’re to actually capitalize on the potential this expertise has to supply. This paper gives a path ahead for regulators and trade our bodies that stands to learn all, giving stakeholders the power to cost-effectively enhance efficiency whereas additionally retaining management and maximizing their return on funding.

Important motion areas
The report, led by Broadcom, Cisco, Intel and Orange, investigates applied sciences which allow end-user 5G providers over Wi-Fi entry. It highlights a number of vital motion areas for trade our bodies and operators associated to supporting trusted WLAN integration with the 5G core and enabling QoS differentiation for 5G flows over WLAN entry. The particular enhancements and recommended actions for the trade are damaged down into 5 distinctive key areas:

  • 5G and Wi-Fi convergence structure
  • Multi-access performance for Entry Visitors Steering, Switching and Splitting (ATSSS)
  • Finish-to-end QoS (High quality-of-Service)
  • Coverage Interworking and enhancements throughout 5G and Wi-Fi
  • Help for Wi-Fi solely gadgets

Potential convergence structure enhancements embrace a tighter coupling between Wi-Fi entry and the 5G gateway features for trusted WLAN. It highlights interworking necessities between 3GPP-defined Entry Visitors Steering, Switching and Splitting (ATSSS) multi-access performance, and present options adopted on machine platforms.

To allow end-to-end QoS, the paper emphasizes the significance of offering QoS differentiation inside WLAN for 5G flows and analyses the problems related to mapping 5G QoS to Wi-Fi QoS. Coverage interworking features throughout 5G system and Wi-Fi entry are examined alongside the issues for enabling an operator to offer differentiated 5G service utilizing each mobile and Wi-Fi entry as a part of a converged service bundle.

The paper additional explores learn how to assist Wi-Fi-only gadgets with out SIM functionality within the 5G system. It highlights the necessity to outline non-SIM-credential primarily based authentication strategies over WLAN entry for personal 5G networks.

Addressing the proposed enhancements and challenges could additional enhance the combination of Wi-Fi entry in a 5G system permitting seamless and interoperable 5G providers to end-users throughout a wide selection of use-cases and verticals. The report highlights the usual our bodies the place this work could also be additional addressed.

Lively growth underway
Convergence issues are underneath energetic growth by trade regulators and requirements our bodies, together with 3GPP and IEEE, bridging the hole with requirements our bodies concerned within the growth of protocols for cell telecommunications. Operators and suppliers can reap most of the advantages of 5G and Wi-Fi convergence by implementing the present specs and by addressing the enhancements and challenges as outlined by the WBA and a few of its members.

Howard Watson, Chief Expertise and Data Officer at BT Group mentioned, “Traditionally, mobile and stuck/Wi-Fi providers have been delivered and consumed as unbiased choices, limiting the service expertise for purchasers. With advances in convergence, the dividing strains are starting to blur, and that’s nice information. Prospects can more and more concentrate on what they use their connectivity for, moderately than how it’s delivered. Finish-users and the trade at massive stand to achieve massively from convergence between Wi-Fi and 5G, however provided that we, as operators, infrastructure and machine distributors, act collectively to completely outline and ship these new converged options”

As a member of the WBA, BT Group are amongst these firms poised to learn early from convergence, as a result of they’ll have an intimate understanding of the problems concerned and learn how to clear up them.

The WBA can be conducting liaison actions together with its report back to additional facilitate motion through the first half of 2021. Moreover, WBA lately authorized follow-on work objects specializing in 5G-Wi-Fi RAN Convergence in Non-public 5G networks which is able to begin in Q1 2021. WBA invitations the trade to hitch 5G Work Group actions.

WBA Member Quotes

Gabe Desjardins, Director of Product Advertising, Broadcom, and Board Director at WBA

“Operators are more and more using the excessive capability, low latency and low-cost of Wi-Fi 6/6E to regulate the elevated capital expenditure related to 5G techniques rollouts,” mentioned Gabriel Desjardins, director of selling for the Wi-fi Communications and Connectivity Division at Broadcom. “The ubiquity of Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi solely gadgets, with an energetic put in base of greater than 13 billion gadgets, gives a low-cost protection possibility for the supply of standalone 5G providers. That is significantly true for indoor environments the place Wi-Fi is the entry expertise of alternative that may assist new and rising use instances similar to cell broadband entry, AR/VR experiences, industrial IoT, distance studying, telepresence, to say just some. The seamless and safe integration of Wi-Fi entry expertise in 5G techniques is a sport changer for operators, excessive suppliers and their clients alike.”

Matthew MacPherson, CTO of Wi-fi at Cisco, and Board Director at WBA

“Making certain one of the best utility expertise is the final word purpose, and we are able to solely achieve this with applied sciences and an ecosystem which are designed to work collectively,” mentioned Matt MacPherson, Wi-fi CTO at Cisco. “It’s not a call about whether or not to make use of Wi-Fi or 5G, however learn how to use Wi-Fi and 5G together. Solely by bridging the gaps that at present exist between Wi-Fi and mobile, and between enterprise and cell carriers, will we have the ability to unlock the following stage of wi-fi innovation to attach extra folks and issues. We’re proud to work alongside the WBA to assist establish and tackle the challenges of convergence, as we imagine this convergence won’t solely profit the trade, however energy a related and inclusive future for everybody.”

Dr. Necati Canpolat, Senior Employees Architect, Intel and Board Director at WBA

“Wi-Fi 6/6E and 5G provide superb capabilities and complement one another. Convergence of Wi-Fi and 5G will assist us work them higher collectively, leverage their capabilities and convey main advantages to customers, machine producers and operators. WBA’s work exploring the alternatives and highlighting the challenges that we have to tackle within the trade is a big step in enabling converged options.”

Claire Chauvin, Director Technique, Structure & Standardisation at Orange

“The convergence of Wi-Fi and 5G is a crucial asset out there in delivering providers to an operator’s clients. Convergence may help enhance community attain in addition to enabling modern providers to take advantage of the alternatives an built-in 5G atmosphere presents to its customers. It is a crucial side in delivering the Good Residence, to offer optimised connectivity for purchasers and site visitors administration for operators.”

In regards to the Wi-fi Broadband Alliance
Based in 2003, the imaginative and prescient of the Wi-fi Broadband Alliance (WBA) is to drive seamless, interoperable service experiences by way of Wi-Fi inside the world wi-fi ecosystem. WBA’s mission is to allow collaboration between service suppliers, expertise firms and organizations to realize that imaginative and prescient. WBA undertakes packages and actions to deal with enterprise and technical points, in addition to alternatives, for member firms.

WBA work areas embrace advocacy, trade pointers, trials and certification. Its key packages embrace NextGen Wi-Fi, 5G, IoT, Testing & Interoperability, Roaming and Coverage & Regulatory Affairs, with member-led Work Teams devoted to resolving requirements and technical points to advertise end-to-end providers and speed up enterprise alternatives. WBA’s membership is comprised of main operators, id suppliers and main expertise firms, together with BAI Communications, Commscope. Fb, HPE Aruba, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm, Rogers, Samsung, Shaw, Swisscom, Softbank, Telstra, Telus and T-Cellular US.

The WBA Board contains AT&T, Boingo Wi-fi, Broadcom, BT, Cisco Methods, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom, GlobalReach Expertise, Google, Intel, KT Company, Reliance Jio, SK Telecom and Viasat. For an entire checklist of present WBA members, click on right here:

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