The annual industry report for 2017 by the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) suggests that the level of industry confidence when it comes to investment in Wi-Fi is at its highest presently. As the wireless technology becomes increasingly important to delivering high speed, high quality, and low latency data connectivity, the study states that over 80% of the surveyed parties as confident as or even more confident about the technology than a year ago. When the unlicensed spectrum is considered broadly, nearly half of the respondents felt more confident.
The report covering the global market was compiled on behalf of the WBA by Maravedis. It comes at a crucial time for the wireless industry. It is an increasingly popular opinion that the success of the new wireless standard, 5G, will depend mostly on confluence of several radio access technologies in licensed, shared, and unlicensed spectrums, with the Wi-Fi technology playing a key role in its success.
Further developments in the latest Wi-Fi standards, such as the 802.11ax, will improve the capabilities and performance of Wi-Fi to support the use cases of 5G, including extreme Mobile Broadband (eMBB) and high density networks. As the focus of the industry turns towards the monetization of Wi-Fi, the report also presents an account of the key drivers of additional data traffic over the network as well as the use cases that have initial revenue potential across a number of verticals. The study states that the services that are most important for the monetization of Wi-Fi in 2018 include marketing analytics, roaming, and location based services, with 37.5% of respondents voting in favor of the location based services segment.