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Wireless Global Congress EMEA 2023

I must say that WGC EMEA was a very Inspirational and world problem-solving event.
In this article, I’ll write down some information to digest and think about. In the end, we must work together to solve the world’s biggest problems.

Last week my Colleague and I visited the Wireless Global Congress in Paris organised by the WBA.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is an industry association that promotes and supports the adoption of wireless broadband technologies and standards, primarily focused on Wi-Fi and related wireless technologies. The WBA’s mission is to drive the adoption of next-generation Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies, as well as to develop and advocate for standards and best practices in the wireless broadband industry.

The key topics that were discussed in this worldwide panel are:

  1. Mission Critical & Emergency Services
    How can we solve calling emergency services when there is no 4/5G coverage but there is Wi-Fi coverage? Passpoint 2.0 networks can help here, 3GPP (the powers that be over LTE and 5G technology) and sim providers can deliver a passpoint. This profile can then be installed on mobile devices so they can call through any hotspot 2.0-enabled network.
  2. QoS on Wi-Fi and how it can
    Tests prove with data the experience with and without QOS, standards and best practices are written to enable QOS on Wi-Fi to improve the experience.
  3. Enterprise Security for P5G Networks aka How to extend enterprise security across the 5G eco-system.

Some interesting facts:

  1. Bad Wi-Fi is the top #1 complaint for remote workers. User experience in the office but also at home must be looked into.
  2. Wi-Fi as a cost-effective densification strategy, In fact, It already is!
  3. Wi-Fi relays 92.3% of the overall fixed broadband traffic in Europe, you can imagine what will happen With LTE/5G when we turn off Wi-Fi all over the world?
  1. Wi-Fi 7 adoption will happen very quickly, given that most people purchased new equipment during lockdown and are likely to replace it in 2025/2026. Optimized Wi-Fi is the top reason to buy a new laptop.

  2. The 6GHz OFDMA technology will help accelerate and build innovation on top of Wi-Fi.

  3. Increased collaboration between 3GPP and the WiFi Alliance + community. Wi-Fi ensures that it can offload 4/5G and can handle much more data (WiFi is mostly widely deployed, especially with the advent of 6GHz).
  1. Guest access struggle.. We call it Portal pain…
  • Don’t work consistently across device platforms
  • Can “black-hole” your data
  • Users hate portals – #1 complaint from guest users 
• TheUgly…
  • Breaks loosely-coupled seamless mobility
  • Users don’t connect to your network – poor attach
  • Users turn off Wi-Fi

How to resolve the portal issues:

  1. Problem with portals (Portal Pain)
  2. Turn off alternative DNS servers
  3. Try to open the router’s default page
  4. Open a Non-Https site in incognito
  5. Restart your device <– I think only the last one the average user is able to do.

So then what?

Enable OpenRoaming, why?
Let me answer this question with another question.
What drives all IT decisions for enterprise networking? Increased Productivity..

With more people attached… more productivity is possible.

Some statistics when we enable OpenRoaming

  1. Happy Vistors Some users do not notice they are on Wi-Fi but they notice good data/voice
  2. Reduced visitor coverage complaints can focus on core components instead of getting people connected.
  3. Lower the burden on IT staff)Fast and cost-effective indoor coverage

So OpenRoaming increases attach 4x and don’t worry about capacity because, from the 6% visitors at and university or enterprise, guests consume 2.4% of Wi-Fi capacity, so don’t worry about that!

But would enterprises allow roaming onto their guest network?
They already do (usually manually)

Why a Federation with OpenRoaming?

  • Scale
  • >600M wireless access roaming partners
    • Multi-Access (Wi-Fi, 5G, …)
    • Multi-Identity (MNO, MSO, ISP, Public, Loyalty, Social, Cloud) 

  • Distribute network onboarding function • Easy
  • Standard T&C’s
  • Goes up and down the market
  • Simple network connection to federation 

  • New Business Models
  • New monetization opportunities
  • Why just do B2C billing when you can do B2C and B2B? 

Is it simple to collide 5G with pass-point 2.0 networks where OpenRoaming drives on? No in fact we failed to do so already for 20 years.

Loosely couple if the way forward

How can we solve ‘Wireless’ technology Capacity?
Improving Layer 1 (Modulation, coding, power, beamforming, interference mitigation – incremental gain)
Adding spectrum – high gain, but hard to get
AP/Cell Densification – high gain, but expensive

Leverage All Investment
Billions in investment in Wi-Fi hotspots deployments • adds spectrum, high re-use, solves densification
Billions in investment in Cellular deployments • ubiquitous coverage connects the hotspots

The best service provides access across all loosely coupled networks

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