5G VS Wi-Fi: Will 5G Oust Wi-Fi?

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Man has always sought to do things faster and more efficiently.

Nearly everything we have invented has been the offspring of this one desire. We have come this far as a species because we have always pushed beyond the boundaries of our previous achievements.

And in the world of telecommunications, this is the order of the day.

Enter the 5G network.

The 5G network is at the top of many tech debates. It is currently one of the most anticipated technological advancement.

Many tech giants have weighed in on the 5G tech and are looking to incorporate it into their next wave of mobile devices. But why is 5G getting all the attention, after all 4G isn’t that bad?

There are a few major reasons why 5G is so anticipated:

  • Speed: 4G is fast but 5G super fast. It is estimated that 5G would be a hundred times faster than the current tech offering internet speeds of at least 10Gbps. Its transmission and reception of signal will be nearly instantaneous.
  • Latency: 4G is great but it has a noticeable level of latency. 5G on the other hand will have latency that is less than a millisecond. This means that large packets of data would be downloaded in a matter of mere seconds.
  • Internet of Things: the 5G network is expected to have a huge impact on IoT. It will help IoT to be adopted and implemented much faster than with 4G.
  • More devices: 5G will be able to handle/support a larger number of devices than 4G.
  • Bandwidth: 5G will offer significantly higher bandwidth that its current counterpart.

With all these mind-blowing benefits that 5G would offer, it’s not out of place for people to wonder what would happen to Wi-Fi network.

The Wi-Fi network has been with us since the 90’s. And has helped a lot of businesses to grow by providing reliable, robust, and well-supported connection.

Currently, thousands offline retail businesses use Wi-Fi to collect vital customer data which helps them to provide better products and services, and to drive sales.

Want to drive sales with Wi-Fi? Read 4 ways to drive sales through Wi-Fi location analytics.

So do you think 5G will obliterate Wi-Fi network in a mortal virtual combat to the death? We don’t think so.

Here are a few of our reasons:

The market for Wi-Fi network is growing:

MarketandMarkets report that there is currently an exponential growth in the Wi-Fi network, globally.

It is projected the Wi-Fi network market would be worth over 33bn dollars by the year 2020. Wi-Fi data would make up for 50% of all IP traffic around the world.

5G isn’t here yet:

For all the hype surrounding the 5G network, it isn’t on the streets yet.

Tech giants like Samsung are only showing off prototype 5G devices while the others are debating its potential. But no company is close to releasing a commercially available 5G enabled device.

And network operators won’t have 5G network deployed anywhere within the next 6 to 8 months.

Wi-Fi enabled devices:

Wi-Fi-only enabled devices on the world market today number in the billions. These include computer peripherals, entertainment systems, and tablets. This is a clear sign that Wi-Fi isn’t going anywhere soon.

Better security:

Wi-Fi has way better security than publicly available 5G networks, traditionally speaking. This makes it the better choice for end users who do business with such publicly available options.

Better coverage:

Cellular networks can be patchy in their coverage.

Even 4G that is currently commercially up and running covers only 63% of a country as developed as Britain. This is especially noticeable in rural areas.

Wi-Fi is the only reliable back up against patchy cellular coverage.

Still in development:

Wi-Fi is still being developed. The next level Wi-Fi is called Wi-Fi 6, and is proposed to be at least four times faster than the current version. It will also be able to support more devices.

Had enough yet? Here are couple of more reasons:

4G had zero negative effect on Wi-Fi:

3G was good but 4G is better and even 4G LTE did not have any negative effect on Wi-Fi networks. There is no reason to think the 5G would do any different.

Mesh Networking:

The next version of Wi-Fi would be suitable for mesh networking.

Mesh networking is simply a network framework that consists of an array of nodes that are interconnected, with each node connected to as many other nodes as possible within the network.

This means it will be faster and more reliable than it currently is.

Considering the reasons outlined above, 5G will in no way oust Wi-Fi networks.

The only thing that will happen is what is already currently happening – coexistence! That’s right. 5G will coexist with Wi-Fi network.


What do you need to enjoy both 5G or Wi-Fi?

There are two major things that need to be in place for you to enjoy the dashing features of 5G or the coming Wi-Fi 6.

First, your network carriers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have to upgrade their network with hardware that accommodate these new tech.

Secondly, we need devices such as smartphones, laptops, and desktop computers that are 5G or Wi-Fi enabled. There are currently no commercially available 5G-enabled devices. The smart devices you use currently do not have 5G/Wi-Fi-enabled antennas or chips.

Hopefully, this year (2020) will see the proliferation of such devices.

In conclusion…

Each of these networks walk on different paths and will continue to do so in the future as they provide fast, secure, reliable, and robust connection.

Did you know you could collect important customer data by offering free social Wi-Fi? Read this article: 3 things Wi-Fi analytics can tell you about your customers to learn more. Seeing that Wi-Fi isn’t going anywhere anytime soon why not use it to your advantage and grow your retail business.

To know how, visit SpotOn or request a demo to see what our product can do for your business.

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