Retailers in Australia are set to get a massive boost from selling 5G devices and Wi Fi 6, these are new generation network platforms, BUT, it will years before we see these technologies fully rolled out in Australia and even then, satellite will be used to deliver remote communication and services such as the new 4K Foxtel.
5G is a next generation mobile network which Telstra would like to think they are going to dominate, the won’t because unlike 4G other operators such as Optus, TPG or a combined TPG Vodafone will be rolling out the technology at the same time and at similar pricing.
Wi-Fi 6 is a new next generation Wi-Fi standard, a.k.a. 802.11ax.
By contrast, Wi-Fi is a local area technology, primarily for indoor use for both business and the home while 5G is delivered over a tower network that will need to be built. It is a wide area technology, meaning it is deployed widely across cities and rural areas where there are towers.
Carriers such as Telstra, Vodafone and Optus will have to deploy new infrastructure to support 5G.
What the experts are saying is that 5G will be 10x’s faster than 4G, and Wi-Fi 6 will be 4x’s faster than Wi-Fi 5, yet the true speed won’t be known until the new networks are rolled out and that could take another five years in Australia.
What this technology will deliver is a major boost for consumer electronics retailers as all smartphones will need to have a 5G chipset while all home routers will need to be upgraded to Wi Fi 6 to get the new speeds.
Telstra has not helped the situation as they promote their own agendas when talking about the new tech while also rubbishing the NBN as being too expensive They are also claiming that 5G will be faster than what you get over the NBN network which will deliver Wi Fi 6 capability.
What these new networks deliver is sheer speed and that translates into new capabilities, you will be able to use augmented reality to watch a live demonstration of the product you are pointing to on a screen. Smart cars will get a vast amount of information making driverless cars a reality.
Envision self-driving cars on a freeway, interacting with each other in real-time to ensure complete safety and coordinated traffic flow, or even imagine a surgeon performing a delicate operation, using virtual reality while he is in a different country, other than the patient.
Both these next generation wireless technologies will continue to coexist as we move into the future. 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are both needed, because they serve different use cases in some areas, even though they overlap in others.
5G will take a lot of time to roll out. Carriers are starting trials next year, and deployments will grow over time.
It will take thousands of new upgraded sites to cover all the relevant area of a country, like Australia and that will take years.
Wi-Fi 6 will be more quickly adopted as Companies such as D Link roll out new routers.
Forbes Magazine wrote recently ‘The promises of 5G and Wi-Fi 6 sound great, but these new technologies alone are not a panacea. Lightning fast connections to your devices do not do much good if there is a choke point elsewhere in the network that can’t deliver the data fast enough. In many cases there will be upgrades needed to other infrastructure – servers, storage, wired networks – to ultimately deliver the new applications and services seamlessly’.
The bottom line is that 5G and Wi-Fi 6 sound great at this stage, but Australia is a big Country with a small population and to get a return on investment is always difficult for network operators.
Both 5G and Wi Fi 6 hold great promise, but you are going to have to wait to get the new speeds.