Paradigm shift: Five connectivity markets to be revolutionised by Wi-Fi 6E

Originally Appearing in Wi-Fi Now, Author Claus Hetting, May 5, 2020

When we say that 6 GHz Wi-Fi constitutes a ‘paradigm shift’ in connectivity – what exactly does that mean? Here’s the bottom line: Wi-Fi 6E (we like to call it 6E for short) will drive an irreversible change in how the world of connectivity works. It means the way we’ve been used to doing things will fundamentally change. Here are six areas that will be revolutionised by Wi-Fi 6E in short order. If you’re not already we recommend that you get involved in Wi-Fi 6E now.

Gigabits to the phone: 6E will make 5G look slow!
According to Broadcom Wi-Fi 6E will deliver 2.4 Gbps to your phone (160 MHz channel) which is at least five times more than what you have today. This kind of speed is unheard of today and is probably overkill right now but it will no doubt open up for new types of applications. It will also in most cases make 5G look slow (except perhaps for the not very practical mmWave kind of 5G) rendering 5G unnecessary indoors. Fortunately, we believe that 5G mobile carriers – where possible – will begin to embrace mobile offload to Wi-Fi 6E, so that 6E will become the de-facto indoor mobile solution.

The 6E-powered home will be something hard to imagine
What will the 6E-powered home look like? Well – we can certainly come up with some speeds and feeds for it. That’s the easy part. But living in the 6E-powered home is arguably hard to imagine at this point because the step up in connectivity is so vast that surely the entire home connectivity category will no doubt be reimagined and reinvented. Each room will likely be served by its own 160 MHz channel delivering clean, unobstructed gigabits of connectivity, and we’ll probably have (perhaps a Wi-Fi 7?) backbone covering the house or apartment.

Industrial connectivity reinvented
Here are three facts that will make 6E irresistible for industrial applications: The band is pristine, legacy Wi-Fi devices are (in principle) not allowed in 6 GHz, and the latency is as low as 2 milliseconds. This means 6E will experience very little interference, deliver all the performance industrial applications need – at a cost of a fraction of anything adopted from cellular. Remember also the extreme flexibility of Wi-Fi tech and its ability to present a ‘Swiss Army Knife’ of adaptable tools to anyone developing industrial connectivity solutions.

“Eighty is the new twenty” for the enterprise
The indoor carpeted enterprise will see an enormous boost in capacity and speed. As a starting point, 80 MHz channels in the 6 GHz band will be the 6 GHz equivalent of the common 20 MHz channels we know today, and one such channel will more than quadruple average Wi-Fi speed. There are fourteen 80 MHz channels in 6 GHz, which will allow frequency reuse patterns that are so wide that co-channel interference will be a thing of the past. We can probably barely imagine how the fan experience at public-facing venues such as stadiums, arenas, and perhaps conference venues will be transformed by 6E.


A resurgence in Fixed Wireless Access
FWA is already doing very well in 5 GHz and even the 60 GHz unlicensed bands – but now the available band for outdoor FWA will be more than doubled: 850 MHz of new spectrum will be made available. This means that the business case for delivering very high-speed, low-cost wireless broadband to a home (or business) for example in rural or suburban USA just got better by several multiples. FWA offerings from WISPs will get more competitive as speeds go up and costs come down. We haven’t done the math but it’s a fair guess the economic value delivered by WISPs could at least double or triple over the next 2-3 years.

FCC’s Wi-Fi proposals will add $183.44 billion to U.S. economy by 2025

Originally Appearing in WifiForward.org April 2020

Two pending Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Wi-Fi proposals would add at least $183.44 billion to the U.S. economy over the next 5 years. This is the finding of a new study by Dr. Raul Katz, a leading scholar of economics and telecommunications policy, on the FCC’s proposals to open the 5.9 GHz band and 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi. The FCC’s proposals will create a wide array of economic benefits:

$106 BILLION
Increase broadband speeds, accelerate deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT), and support the augmented reality/virtual reality (AR/VR) market – adding $106 billion to the U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP);

$69 BILLION
Allow producers to realize a producer surplus of $69 billion based on savings on enterprise wireless traffic and sales of Wi-Fi and AR/VR
equipment;

$8 BILLION
Produce $8 billion in consumer surplus from increased broadband speeds.

By spectrum band, the study concluded that by 2025:
● The FCC’s proposal to open the 5.9 GHz band to Wi-Fi would provide $28.14 billion in economic value;
● The FCC’s proposal to open the 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi would generate $153.75 billion in economic value;
● Sales of Wi-Fi equipment for both bands would generate $1.54 billion in economic value.

Wi-Fi, return to speed, and consumer surplus
Numerous studies have shown a strong positive relationship between broadband speed and economic growth. Fixed broadband networks continue to improve performance, but consumers depend on Wi-Fi to connect to these networks. Without enough unlicensed spectrum, customers won’t be able to benefit fully from those speeds using Wi-Fi. The latest Wi-Fi technology can deliver these faster speeds. But it needs wide, contiguous channels to maximize its potential. The U.S. lacks these channels today and the FCC’s proposals would enable them. In this study, Dr. Katz shows that by doing so, the FCC would produce substantial economic value:
● Opening the lower 45 megahertz of the 5.9 GHz band would create near-immediate benefits by creating the first widely usable 160 megahertz Wi-Fi channel and relieving network congestion. The increased speeds would add at least $23.04 billion to GDP.
● The FCC’s 6 GHz proposal would increase speeds over time by creating several more 160 megahertz and even 320 megahertz channels. These new channels would ensure that Wi-Fi can handle increasing Wi-Fi traffic as fixed broadband providers roll out even faster speeds, contributing at least
$13.25 billion to GDP.
● Dr. Katz also notes that consumers value faster Wi-Fi speed ($5.10 billion attributable to faster broadband speeds enabled by 5.9 GHz and $2.92 billion attributable to 6 GHz).

Producer surplus from equipment sales
Building on the findings of studies in 2014, 2017 and 2018, Dr. Katz calculates that the FCC’s actions would lead to producer surplus related to the manufacturing and sales of new Wi-Fi equipment using the new bands.
This would produce $1.54 billion in surplus benefits to the economy.

Broader deployment of Internet of Things (IoT) devices
The FCC has proposed allowing a new class of Wi-Fi devices throughout the 6 GHz band: Low-Power Indoor or “LPI” devices. “These devices will operate at lower power levels than traditional Wi-Fi. Dr. Katz’s analysis shows that opening the full 6 GHz band to LPI technologies will drive the market to produce more machine-to-machine devices and develop new use cases and applications for connected homes, healthcare facilities, factories and sensor-based communications. This will yield a $44.03 billion contribution to GDP.

Savings in enterprise wireless traffic
By opening the full 6 GHz band to Wi-Fi, large office complexes, venues, industrial plants, stadiums, hospitals, and schools will be empowered to boost their ommunications networks and deliver 5G capable speeds indoors without having to rely on a cellular connection. Dr. Katz demonstrates that the cost savings to these enterprise customers will produce a $54.04 billion surplus for the U.S. economy.

Producer surplus from AR/VR equipment sales and GDP spillover from AR/VR uses
The FCC has also proposed to open the 6 GHz band to Very Low Power or “VLP” technologies. These technologies will drive an emerging Personal Area Network, or “PAN,” market segment, which includes AR/VR devices, body-worn sensors, and other low-power peripherals. Dr. Katz finds that the growth of firms producing just one type of these PAN technologies, AR/VR hardware, software, and content, will result in new revenues and value for the U.S. economy that will lead to $13.74 billion in surplus.
In addition, Dr. Katz notes that these new AR/VR applications will lead to new use cases like health care diagnostics, visualizations and displays for remote surgery, training for pediatric emergencies, immersive entertainment at concerts and events, remote technical assistance, and training for dangerous professions like mining and search and rescue. Dr. Katz finds that these use cases would have a “spillover impact” on
productivity, with the consequent growth of GDP ($25.78 billion contribution to GDP).

5G CAPEX and OPEX savings
Finally, the study also examines CAPEX and OPEX savings to cellular operators from offloading mobile traffic, including 5G, onto Wi-Fi, finding that this use alone will yield $13.60 billion in GDP contributions.

COVID 19 – The New IT Reality

Originally Appearing in Forbes, March 31, 2020, Author: John Webster

Security is now a primary concern to the point that some projects that were active before the pandemic are now being put on hold or even abandoned while security projects are accelerated. One healthcare IT executive we spoke to has seen a near doubling of outside attacks on their internal healthcare delivery systems over the last few weeks. Personally, I find this as evil as it gets.

Data protection is now a second priority behind security. In fact, the two go hand in hand. Because at home workers are more vulnerable to attack and farther away from direct support, their data is more at risk. Backups are more frequent which puts increased demand on data protection systems trying to handle the increased load.

Network bandwidth is being increasingly challenged to handle the load of workers trying to stay connected in order to remain functional. As one IT operations staff member said: “It’s the last mile problem that’s slowing us down.”

Trained IT staff is in even greater demand in areas that are now deemed critical. As noted, these include security and data protection. Cloud infrastructure and network management are two more.

Disaster recovery and business continuity plans are at least being partially activated to deal with stay at home orders. This is particularly the case for systems that now must be managed and maintained remotely. Post 911, IT executives realized that it wasn’t just systems that needed to be covered by disaster recovery plans. The absence of hands-on operational staff needed to be considered as well.

Cloud workload migration and remote systems management projects are accelerating. However, the problem here is that cloud providers may have to respond by rationing capacity because of the spike in demand. A long-time user of one of the major cloud providers was told yesterday that his requests for new capacity can’t be fully met because the cloud provider has seen the same spike in capacity demand from their other large users.

We need to recognize the new reality as an IT community and come together over ways to deal with it. There are positive ways to approach these challenges. It seems to me that the continued functioning of healthcare systems for example should now be a national priority as they face every one of the challenges I’ve noted here.

Gartner’s Report on Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2020

Originally Appearing in Gartner, 21 October 2019

Strategic technology trends have the potential both to create opportunity and to drive significant disruption. Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders must evaluate these top trends to determine how combinations of trends can power their innovation strategies.

Key Findings
Strategic technology trends have significant potential to create and respond to disruption and to power both transformation and optimization initiatives.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is a foundational catalyst for advanced process automation and human augmentation and engagement.
Physical environments including factories, offices and cities will become “smart spaces” within which people will interact through multiple touchpoints and sensory channels for an increasingly ambient experience.
Dealing with privacy, digital ethics and security challenges generated by AI, the Internet of Things (IoT)/edge, and other evolving technologies will become critical to maintain trust and avoid legal entanglements.

Recommendations
Enterprise architecture and technology innovation leaders must:
Center their innovation efforts on people and use tools such as personas, journey maps, technology radars, and roadmaps to evaluate opportunities, challenges and time frames for adoption.
Build an overarching view across functional and process silos and exploit a complementary set of tools including RPA, iBPMS, DTO, application development, and AI domains that guide how the tools are used and the systems they create are integrated.
Embrace multiexperience and implement development platforms and design principles to support conversational, immersive and increasingly ambient experiences.
Establish governance principles, policies, best practices and technology architectures to increase transparency and trust regarding data and the use of AI.

Strategic Planning Assumptions
By 2022, 70% of enterprises will be experimenting with immersive technologies for consumer and enterprise use, and 25% will have deployed them to production.
By 2022, 35% of large businesses in the training and simulation industry will evaluate and adopt immersive solutions, up from less than 1% in 2019.
By 2021, at least one-third of enterprises will have deployed a multiexperience development platform to support mobile, web, conversational and augmented reality development.
By 2024 75% of large enterprises will be using at least four low-code development tools for both IT application development and citizen development initiatives.
By 2022, at least 40% of new application development projects will have artificial intelligence co-developers on the team.
By 2021, automation of data science tasks will enable citizen data scientists to produce a higher volume of advanced analysis than specialized data scientists.
By 2025, a scarcity of data scientists will no longer hinder the adoption of data science and machine learning in organizations.
By 2022, 30% of organizations using AI for decision making will contend with shadow AI as the biggest risk to effective and ethical decisions.
Through 2023, 30% of IT organizations will extend BYOD policies with “bring your own enhancement” (BYOE) to address augmented humans in the workforce.
By 2020, we expect that companies that are digitally trustworthy will generate 20% more online profit than those that aren’t.
By 2020, we expect that 4% of network-based mobile communications service providers (CSPs) globally will launch the 5G network commercially.
By 2024, most cloud service platforms will provide at least some services that execute at the point of need.
By 2023, blockchain will be scalable technically, and will support trusted private transactions with the necessary data confidentiality.
Through 2022, over 75% of data governance initiatives will not adequately consider AI’s potential security risks and their implications, resulting in quantifiable financial loss.
Through 2022, 30% of all AI cyberattacks will leverage training-data poisoning, AI model theft or adversarial samples to attack AI-powered systems.