Cross-Industry Survey Reveals 79% Plan to Adopt WBA OpenRoaming
London 19th November: According to a Wireless Broadband Alliance cross-industry survey of service providers, equipment manufacturers and enterprises, almost four out of five (79%) have adopted or plan to adopt the WBA OpenRoaming standard. As the Wi-Fi roaming standard was only introduced in late May 2020, this demonstrates a very rapid and widespread acceptance of WBA OpenRoaming in less than six months.
The vision for WBA OpenRoaming is that the world will become a single, giant Wi-Fi network, allowing billions of people and their devices to connect automatically and securely to millions of Wi-Fi networks around the world. Users will be able to roam from location to location without the need for logins, registrations or passwords. High-profile backers of WBA OpenRoaming include AT&T, Boingo, Broadcom, Cisco, Commscope, Google, Intel and Samsung.
This survey finding is one of many insights explained in the Annual Industry Report from the Wireless Broadband Association – the worldwide industry body dedicated to improving Wi-Fi standards and services. The report, which is available to download here: https://wballiance.com/wba-annual-industry-report-2021/, also highlights the following findings:
• 95% of the comms industry say that Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E will be important to their business, with 65% saying they have deployed or will deploy Wi-Fi 6/6E before the end of 2021
• 67% said that the convergence of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G would be very important or critical to their future business plans
• Roaming is the number one monetization strategy for 2021 with 45% placing it in their top three choices, followed by offload (38%) and analytics (32%)
• 57% believe that multi-access edge computing (MEC) will lead to new use cases for Wi-Fi in the future
• Smart cities represents the primary vertical use case being targeted by the comms industry in relation to Wi-Fi, with 56% saying that it is one of their top targets. This is followed by retail (39%) and education or campus networks (39%)
“There was a time, not so long ago, that when we discussed the potential for Wi-Fi roaming or the convergence of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, we were met with blank stares, ” said Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of Wireless Broadband Alliance. “Now, it’s the complete opposite. Across the comms industry, we’re seeing excitement building around these trends. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone and this reinforces the role of Wi-Fi during the pandemic to keep everyone conencted.”
Speaking about the comms industry’s response to COVID-19, which is also analyzed in the report, Rodrigues continued: “During lockdown, traffic patterns inevitably shifted from an office setting to a home setting, with many cellular and broadband providers seeing massive, sustained increases in traffic across residential areas. The stability of Wi-Fi has arguably been the unsung hero of this situation – it has kept a lot of things moving and working at a time when failure would have resulted in a much bleaker situation for people and business.”