Wi-Fi to be central to 5G, claims WBA

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Wi-Fi will play a "significant" role within the forthcoming 5G framework, coexisting with the next generation of cellular technology, the Wireless Broadband Alliance has claimed.

The industry body has published a new white paper polling companies worldwide to explore how unlicensed technologies will evolve.

It found that 5G will be a combination of licensed and unlicensed technologies, with a convergence between the two vital to the overall health of 5G. It noted standardisation remains crucial for 5G to thrive.

The white paper found the three major business cases for 5G were smart cities, Internet of Things-based sensor networks and safety/surveillance.

[Read more: 5G to hit 1.4 billion connections by 2025, IoT to disappoint, report claims]

Shrikant Shenwai, CEO, Wireless Broadband Alliance, said: “While plans to roll out 5G networks are well on their way, the industry still needs to agree upon the standards for the technology before 2020.

“The WBA has put together this report to highlight the significant impact that Wi-Fi is having on the definition of 5G and what we as an organisation can do to bridge the gap between licensed and unlicensed technologies within this timeframe.

“The WBA will continue to develop its 5G strategy to work towards ensuring WBA and Wi-Fi networks are ready and enabled to meet the needs of a 5G-based world. Our aim is to satisfy the use cases and needs of the millions of customers and consumers of the world’s Wi-Fi networks, and the WBA operators and WBA connected cities dedicated to delivering that strategy and vision.”

The white paper is the latest in a seemingly endless string of reports and predictions about 5G. Last month, a survey from Gartner found three quarters of companies would pay a premium for 5G.