Do We Still Need Wi-Fi in the 5G Era?

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5G has become a global hot spot, but currently mobile phones, notebook computers, and various household devices still connect to Wi-Fi networks. Do we really need Wi-Fi when 5G is to be launched for commercial use? Will 5G take away market shares of Wi-Fi? Can any Wi-Fi feature make Wi-Fi irreplaceable by 5G?

Vice general manager Mr. Huang Zan from Ruijie Networks, Wireless Product Business Division was invited by online chief editor Cheng Jian of ZOL to “Dialogs of Influence” to delve into the topic Do We Still Need Wi-Fi in the 5G Era?

Core ideas

1. Wi-Fi and 5G are applicable to different scenarios.

Wi-Fi is used for wireless applications in local area network (LAN) and office scenarios, while 5G for future mobile communication scenarios of large bandwidth, massive connections, low delay, and high reliability.

2. Wi-Fi and 5G have different networking.

As the extension of Ethernet, Wi-Fi is the conventional LAN built by enterprises or individuals. 5G are public networks and invested and built by operators.

3. Wi-Fi and 5G are complementary to each other.

Wi-Fi offers unlimited traffic, while 5G offers limited traffic and rate.

4. Wi-Fi has more spectrum resources than 5G.

Wi-Fi has a spectrum up to 400 MHz and can provide abundant spectrum resources. 5G spectrum resources are rare. As announced by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, PRC, each operator is assigned with only a 100 MHz spectrum for 5G networks.

5. Wi-Fi 6 develops faster than 5G.

Wi-Fi 6 and 5G were both launched in 2014. Wi-Fi 6 was basically settled in 2017 and applied to products in 2018, but 5G is applied to commercial use in 2019.

6. Enterprise-class Wi-Fi networks will continue to grow in next 5 years.

2018 is the first year of the Wi-Fi 6 era. Wi-Fi 6 devices will account for 20% of shipments in 2019, and 50% in 2020.

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