Complimentary Connectivity Solutions
Connectivity has taken on many variations recently and rather than one version replacing a previous one, they are being brought together to help address the ever-changing needs of the end users. Examples of the different connectivity solutions include cellular (4G/5G), Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. Typically, the cellular networks set the standard for reliable communications, with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth serving as supporting services. With the onset of Covid and the shift to remote work forces, the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi networks have seen significant pressure from the massive amounts of usage placed on them.
Recently Apple posted job ads seeking wireless research systems engineers for its sixth-generation, shortly after the company show cased its first 5G-capable iPhones. Other industry leaders like AT&T Inc., Facebook Inc. and QUALCOMM Inc. are teaming up to develop 6G industry standards, that includes research and development to deployment. While 5G download speeds are many times faster than current 4G LTE networks and with significantly lower latency times, 6G is set to raise the bar even higher, with speeds estimated at 100x faster than 5G and upped bandwidth to keep consumers more connected than ever before.
Fortunately, there has been significant developments taking place with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth technologies. Wi-Fi 6 is currently being introduced into the device and network infrastructure and it has taken on similar technical characteristics that would normally only exist on the more robust cellular networks. Wi-Fi 6 supports larger bandwidth applications, more robust modulation schemes as well as multi-user antenna techniques. These traits closely resemble the cellular technologies and ultimately result in providing the end user with a more reliable connection with more capacity and speed.
In summary: PC’s and mobile devices are becoming more powerful, and they can support multiple networks in and outside our homes. End users are now expecting a better user experience for video conferencing, Extended Reality gaming and high-quality audio recordings. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Cellular networks are working together to support these end user needs and the onset of 5G and Wi-Fi 6E (Wi-Fi 6 getting an additional 1200MHz of spectrum) will further these network capabilities.
Jamie Kimble, Vice President of Enterprise Solutions, is an experienced telecommunications leader with over 30 years of experience in the industry specializing in Wireless System Design. He is skilled in 4G, 5G, Wi-Fi, CBRS, Operations Management, and System Deployment. Jamie is a strong information technology professional with a bachelor’s degree focused in Electrical, Engineering and Communications Engineering from the University of Cincinnati.