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There are flaws in the vision for 5G. I suggest that users do not value faster speed and that the need for capacity growth will in any case end shortly after 5G’s widespread adoption. But there are a number of visions for 5G that are needed, such as enhanced coverage. Here I discuss these elements and how they might come about – and why Wi-Fi is a powerful and overlooked resource.
CONSISTENCY IS KEY
If internet servers were always responsive, and if mobile users always had a good signal level in uncongested cells, then speed would be more than adequate for all of the applications commonly in use today. The problem is that all of these conditions are rarely met. The situation is similar to the road networks – all would like quicker journeys but the limiting factor is not the top speed of cars but the capacity of the roads. That is why ad hoc surveys and anecdotal evidence suggests that for many, speed has reached the point where further gains are of limited value and what is becoming much more important is consistency.
Most of the visions for 5G are not based on what we really need, says WILLIAM WEBB. Here he examines what problems we are trying to solve and why Wi-Fi is as important as cellular networks.
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