5G and Wi-Fi 6: Stronger together

Two parallel paths to connect everybody and everything

Find out in this paper on why do we need both 5G and Wi-Fi6 to connect everybody and everything:


  • Converging performance, distinct roles: The benefits of diversity
  • Wi-Fi 6 and 5G: Where do they belong?
  • Synergies and differences
  • Is Wi-Fi cheaper than 5G?
  • Enterprise use cases
  • A new regulatory approach
  • Opening wireless networks

Wi-Fi and cellular networks carry most of the wireless access traffic and will continue to do so with the introduction of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, available today, and, eventually, with Wi-Fi 7 and 6G. Better performance, higher efficiency and lower costs make it possible to connect more people and things, and to improve their connections. This is not just about the number of connections: it is the range of use cases that will grow – and in directions beyond those we can envisage today. The biggest growth potential in use cases is going to be in IoT and IIoT, with 5G supporting specific enterprise requirements and Wi-Fi 6 continuing to foster a wider adoption of smart-home applications.

Not only will 5G and Wi-Fi continue to coexist – they will continue to strengthen each other. 5G brings the wide-area coverage and mobility support that we need for ubiquitous connectivity. Wi-Fi brings the capacity and speed we need when we are indoors or in high-density locations. This divide-and-conquer approach succeeds because the combination of licensed spectrum for 5G and unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi enables different models of spectrum use, different business models and different wireless infrastructure owners.

In this paper, we look at how Wi-Fi and 5G can jointly meet the needs of those already connected and of those who still need to be connected in a way that neither technology on its own could.

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