Convergence, coexistence or competition: How will 5G and Wi-Fi 6 interact?

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As standards for Wi-Fi and cellular become increasingly entwined, there has never been a greater technical possibility for convergence. This report explores the market view of future convergence from both supply and demand side perspectives.


Format: PDF filePages: 21 pagesCharts: 4Author: Grace Donnelly, Senior ConsultantPublication Date: January 2022

Table of Contents

  • Executive Summary
    • Convergence is still immature on both the demand and supply sides
    • What do we mean by co-existence, convergence and competition?
  • Preface
  • Introduction
  • The market context for convergence
    • Industry bodies have been promoting convergence
    • Spectrum auctions
    • There is a disconnect between theory and practice
    • There are two key use cases for convergence
  • A future trend towards convergence is still immature
    • Regional differences in the maturity of 5G
    • Inconsistent definitions
    • Who manages convergence?
  • It is still too early to see high levels of demand for convergence from enterprise customers
    • Wi-Fi is the incumbent, 5G must overcome a number of barriers before it can become a genuine partner or alternative
    • Decisions regarding convergence are driven by industry characteristics
    • Supply side players must educate enterprise customers about convergence (if they believe it is beneficial to the enterprise)
  • Conclusion

Table of Figures

  • Figure 1: There are a number of key differences between next generation Wi-Fi and cellular connectivity
  • Figure 2: There are two potential models of convergence: the resilience model and the switchover model
  • Figure 3: To date, 11 manufacturing and automotive customers have requested converged solutions from a European NEP
  • Figure 4: Only a small number of operators have deployed 5G standalone core


Technologies and industry terms referenced include: 5G, cellular, cellular technologies, Convergence, mobile, Networks, wifi, wifi 5, wifi 6, wireless