What's the Deal With WiFi 6 & Broadband?
Service providers' ongoing rollout of mesh networks and other solutions that leverage WiFi to strengthen home connectivity validate the important role WiFi 6 will play in smart homes, smart cities and other broadband deployments.
More than 1 billion WiFi 6 chipsets will ship by 2022, according to ABI Research. That's only three years after the first commercial deployments begin next year, the research firm said.
Many traditional telco-focused vendors are among those incorporating the latest WiFi standard into their newest products or acquisition targets to ensure future plans include WiFi capabilities. Just today, for example, ADTRAN acquired SmartRG, a developer of carrier-class, open-source connected home platforms and cloud services, such as cloud-management, analytics, WiFi-enabled residential gateways and SmartOS software. (See How Fiber Plays a Key Role in Orange's Convergent Network Plans.)
This fall, Calix released two versions of its GigaSpire smart home system with EXOS. The device -- which looks like a slightly larger model of a smart-home speaker or a sleeker router -- include WiFi 6, along with an alphabet soup of other protocols and Amazon Alexa. (Join us for a webinar on December 12 at noon EST, 9 am PST, to hear Calix and Amazon Alexa executives discuss how service providers can benefit from the voice opportunity. Register here.) (See With Amazon Alexa, Calix Translates Smart Home Opp Into Reality.)
For its part, the Wireless Broadband Association ensured WiFi 6 featured backwards compatibility, focused on return on investment and cheaper deployment costs, and empowered operators to deliver some early 5G use cases, Tiago Rodrigues, WBA general manager, told Broadband World News.
That's worked well to further expand the popularity of WiFi among operators and municipalities, he said.
"Some deploy their own broadband infrastructures, either by providing WiFi in certain situations or in certain areas or buildings -- schools, libraries, parks. They work very closely as well with the carriers," Rodrigues said. "There is interest, the appetite, to explore any type of technology to provide broadband that is cheaper and deliver faster broadband access to any of their residents. If its possible using the assets that already exist on the ground, perfect. They will do that. If the assets that are already on the ground are not available or not properly used, they are more than willing to explore wireless technology."
— Alison Diana, Editor, Broadband World News. Follow us on Twitter or @alisoncdiana.
In a flurry of activity throughout the week, Donald (DJ) LaVoy, Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development at the US Department of Agriculture, and his team spent about $145.8 million in the non-urban or suburban areas of seven states.
Calix reported revenue of $120.19 million – up 4% – in Q4 2019, putting a bounce in the step of company president and CEO Carl Russo and a shine to Calix's ongoing transition from hardware vendor to a provider of platforms enabled by cloud, APIs and subscriber experience.
Looking to curtail e-waste and improve the bottom line, BT will require customers to return routers and set-top boxes, although subscribers will not have to pay a fee when they receive regular broadband equipment.
The industry standards organization is looking to ease operator pain from residential WiFi, while it also sees initiatives in connected home and other projects bear fruit.
Deploying DOCSIS 3.1 across its entire footprint gave Rogers Communications the ability to offer speeds of up to 1 Gbit/s, contributing to a broadband segement that generated about 60% of the Canadian operator's $3.05 billion (US) in Q4 cable earnings.
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
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