Will 5G Make WiFi Obsolete?


You’ve probably read about the new 5G standard for mobile phones, which will bring enhanced broadband connectivity and increased speeds.

What is 5G?

5G (fifth generation) is the latest generation of cellular mobile communications and promises high data rate, reduced latency, energy saving, cost reduction, higher system capacity, and massive device connectivity. Exactly how fast will it be? Well, some experts are saying that it will be up to 20 times as 4G.

Phone companies such as AT&T and Verizon are investing billions in 5G to develop and prepare for the coming 5G standards. This will require a big infrastructure deployment, plus new tech inside your phone, so it’s expected to be a few more years before 5G becomes widely available to consumers.

Will 5G Replace WiFi?

As we move towards 5G becoming reality, many people are wondering if 5G will cause problems for WiFi, or even replace it all together.

Will we see a future where we abandon our WiFi networks because 5G mobile connectivity is better? Most experts believe that 5G and WiFi will continue to co-exist for the foreseeable future.

According to the Wall Street Journal, there will be more than 549 million global public and cable-company-run hotspots by 2022, which will account for more than half of all Internet traffic. Some industry professionals are saying that 5G will be faster and better than home WiFi networks, but this is simply unrealistic.

Recently, WiFi Alliance introduced WiFi 6 as the new industry standard. WiFi 6 will have faster download speeds, up to 9.6 gigabits a second, which is several times faster than 5G. WiFi Alliance marketing executive Kevin Robinson said “WiFi and cellular technologies will continue to be strong complements to each other” but that “WiFi is going to be that workhorse. No other technology can deliver the affordable performance in the home.”

In addition, if mobile devices were to move away from WiFi, nearly all the 30 billion machines with Internet connectivity would have to be replaced with broadband connections. That’s not going to happen anytime soon.

At the end of the day, the consumer isn’t necessarily concerned how they connect to the Internet from their devices. They simply want the best Internet connection anywhere, anytime, and at the most affordable price. WiFi provides all of that and will do so for the foreseeable future.

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Jared Howe

Jared Howe is PRIVATE WiFi’s Senior Manager, Product Marketing Communications. Working in high tech for over 15 years, Jared currently lives in Seattle with his wife, daughter, and their two cats.

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