We Listen, Learn and Contribute: How to Be a Customer Champion From Technology to Services
By William Chow, MOBOLIZE | CTO
The headlines are about the potential and glamour of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, but it’s up to the technical and business industry behind the headlines to make them work seamlessly and securely for both mobile users and operators.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance’s (WBA) Wireless Global Congress (WGC) in Atlanta, GA, was an example of a place to discover and share the depth of insight and knowledge of today’s behind-the-headlines technology and business requirements for success. Attendees learned and shared what it takes to deliver growingly complex wireless technology networks and solutions to consumers who use a mobile device wherever they go and expect an always connected experience. The majority of data used on a mobile device is over Wi-Fi and users require seamless and safe access as they move amongst Wi-Fi and cellular networks. That requires mobile providers to develop new strategies and business models to meet this demand.
The first two days for Mobolize were Working Group sessions with WBA technology-focused members. It was clear from these sessions that the key topic on everyone’s minds is the coexistence between Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, and the inevitable convergence of Wi-Fi and cellular.
First up was the Next-Gen Workgroup, which was a useful session that provided Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) updates and reviewed best practice deployment guidelines. While 802.11ax goes a long way in improving performance and efficiency, it still needs help with roaming across Wi-Fi networks (i.e. Wi-Fi dead zones), and this is where our Mobolize on-device channel bonding (i.e. multipathing) technology can really help push Wi-Fi adoption by enabling Wi-Fi network operators to offer the same universally seamless roaming experience currently only available on cellular networks.
Next up was the Roaming Workgroup, where a key focus for this group is Passpoint-based roaming. This group has essentially extended Passpoint to facilitate roaming across their member companies with a standard called Wireless Roaming Intermediary eXchange (WRIX). With Passpoint and WRIX helping to drive roaming across partner Wi-Fi networks, a key aspect that needs to be addressed is managing cost and maximizing QoS. This is where MOBOLIZE | Optimize, our unique on-device data optimization technology can add value, enabling a viable roaming business model where costs are asymmetric, such as roaming from terrestrial Wi-Fi to in-flight Wi-Fi.
Last for me was the 5G Workgroup, but it was perhaps the most important. With 5G moving into unlicensed spectrum, including the 5Ghz band currently occupied by Wi-Fi, it’s clear that coexistence and competition is the future, and we were pleased to see that the WBA is focused on finding solutions for stitching the many cellular and Wi-Fi networks together.
In particular, the 5G approach is focused around channel aggregation and multipathing approaches that require a cellular “core” (i.e. LTE or 5G infrastructure), and the distinct benefit that Wi-Fi provides is the easy path: roll-your-own wireless network that only requires a connection to the internet. As long as Wi-Fi can provide fast, seamless and secure connections – which MOBOLIZE | Bond our on-device , serverless channel bonding technology delivers – then we can help WBA members deliver a compelling Wi-Fi experience that meets and exceeds what 5G will take years to do.