Originally Appearing in Wi-Fi Forward, June 18 2020
This Saturday is World Wi-Fi Day — a day in which we recognize the countless benefits and accomplishments of a technology that most of us use every day. This year, World Wi-Fi Day comes as changes from COVID-19 seep across our culture and economy in ways no one could have envisioned just a few months ago. Across the globe, people have been forced to adapt to new ways of doing things — at home, at work and at school. One thing that makes this possible is fast and available Wi-Fi.
Telehealth has been a fast-growing part of the healthcare industry for most of the past decade, and Wi-Fi supports much of this critical practice. While many medical practices were already utilizing Wi-Fi in hospitals and doctors’ offices, some were slow to adopt, especially in states where insurance laws kept down reimbursements for virtual visits. This year, it seemed every doctor was encouraging patients to connect online. It’s safer for everyone — not just in a time of COVID-19 — but when dealing with any contagious illness or with patients with mobility challenges. Many more patients now realize there’s no need to go to a doctor’s office when there is a much easier way to “visit” the doctor using your home internet connectivity — keeping more patients out of the hospital and reducing the risk of infection.
With the onset of COVID-19, teachers and professors at every level were forced to rejigger their curricula to an online format. But as they adapted, many reported new benefits to distance learning. Beyond ensuring the health of students and faculty, students gained flexibility and can now attend class from virtually anywhere with a Wi-Fi connection. Wi-Fi has opened the door for new and creative ways of learning and has made school possible in this critical time.
When COVID-19 shut down offices across the U.S. in mid-March, companies scrambled to find new and innovative ways to stay connected and productive; many turned to wireless internet. Wi-Fi allows employees to collaborate remotely from the safety of their own homes using Zoom, email, and countless other web-based applications. Home Wi-Fi allows businesses to adapt quickly to the unprecedented circumstances of the pandemic, assuring companies the ability to continue to serve their customers, all while ensuring their employees’ safety.
Wi-Fi has helped society and the economy adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic. Aside from assisting in the continuation of critical functions like healthcare and education, Wi-Fi is keeping friends and family connected at a time when keeping in touch with loved ones is more important than ever. These alterations to the fabric of our lives would have been far less efficient had a pandemic struck with the ethernet connections of a decade ago. The past several months have proven the utility and value of unlicensed spectrum in an increasingly virtual world. So, on this World Wi-Fi Day, let’s look at what we have learned these past few months and ponder how we can move forward together in a world connected by Wi-Fi that connects us in ways few thought possible.
Originally Appearing in Businesswire.com, June 8, 2020
We congratulate our technology partner ISSQUARED, a leading provider of IT technology solutions, on having been selected by Fortinet as the 2019 North America Regional Partner of the Year! This award recognizes technology partners that deliver superior business solutions. In cooperation with ISSQUARED, Red Bison has developed a platform of next generation value added services that will revolutionize how tenants turn on IT services in the future.
ISSQUARED® Inc., a market-leading provider of end-to-end IT technology solutions, announced today that it was named Fortinet’s 2019 North America Regional Partner of the Year. The Fortinet 2019 North America Partner of the Year Awards recognizes dedicated partners and distributors in the North American region.
ISSQUARED® has been a trusted partner of Fortinet® for several years. Together we have helped organizations create strong security postures and run successful security programs. As a result of our close partnership, we’ve collaborated on best practices for technology implementation, integration, and optimization, including for the Fortinet Secure SD-WAN solution. ISSQUARED is also committed to technical development with Fortinet through its Network Security Expert (NSE) certifications and training program available to partners for free.
“ISSQUARED® is proud to be recognized by Fortinet®. This award highlights our ability to deliver superior business solutions to meet ever-changing technology needs, as well as our expertise across Fortinet’s product offerings,” said Bala Ramaiah, Chief Executive Officer, ISSQUARED®. “Businesses need integrated solutions to tackle cybersecurity threats effectively in this ever-changing threat landscape. Fortinet’s broad, integrated, and automated Security Fabric platform protects organizations across the digital infrastructure from sophisticated threats while reducing complexity. Our partnership with Fortinet strengthens our strategic vision to implement best-in-class security solutions and threat intelligence technologies to combat growing security challenges and ensure businesses are better protected.”
“This recognition as Fortinet’s 2019 North America Regional Partner of the Year is a significant acknowledgment for ISSQUARED’s commitment and dedication to providing best-fit solutions and more orchestrated end-to-end cybersecurity services for our clientele; while carefully building a strategic relationship with our partners,” said Suchinth Kumar, Chief Revenue Officer at ISSQUARED®. “We continue to see an opportunity with Fortinet to create an integrated cybersecurity architecture for our customers in any environment.”
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.
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:
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);
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
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.
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