Next Generation Wi-Fi
Senza Fili and Intel discuss the future of next generation Wi-Fi and connectivity technology.
Welcome, everyone. We're glad you could join us today for this webinar in which we will discuss the future of next-generation Wi-Fi-- Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 7, and beyond. This webinar is part of a series of technology briefs authored by Senza Fili, and informed by Intel, which will be made available to all webinar participants in the coming weeks.
My name is Michael [INAUDIBLE], and I'll be moderating this webinar. I'm joined today by two subject matter experts, Carlos Cordeiro from Intel Corporation and Monica Paolini from Senza Fili. First, Carlos Cordeiro is the CTO of Wireless Communication Solutions at Intel Corporation where he is responsible for next-generation wireless connectivity technology strategy, standards, ecosystem, engagement, and regulatory compliance. In the Wi-Fi alliance, he is a member of the board of directors and serves as its technical advisor. Welcome, Carlos.
Thank you, it's great to be here.
Thank you. And next we have Monica Paolini, founder and principal of Senza Fili. She is an expert in wireless technologies and has helped clients worldwide to understand new technologies and customer requirements, create and assess financial models, evaluate business plan opportunities, market their services and products, and estimate market size and revenue opportunities of new and established wireless technologies. Welcome, Monica.
Thanks, Michael, pleasure to be here.
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So to kick our discussion off today, it'll be great if you could both talk a little bit about the previous Wi-Fi generations. Could you walk us through the recent evolution in the industry and the key capabilities of each wave? Monica, you could start off. And Carlos, you could plus this out.
Yes, thanks, Michael. It's always a pleasure to talk about the evolution of Wi-Fi and [INAUDIBLE], all the different generations we have been through, and there's been before. And we are in the 20th birthday of Wi-Fi. So in many ways, it keeps evolving. And there is a lot of new disruptive technology advancements.
So Wi-Fi is a mature technology. It has been around for quite some time. And yet there is a continuous push to innovate. There is always something new to look forward to. And so today we're talking about Wi-Fi 6, which is the current, the new thing. And we're going to also talk about Wi-Fi 7 because we want to look at what's coming next.
And this is something that has been constantly going on with Wi-Fi. There is clearly a need to adapt. And that's driven by two things, both about what the technology can do. So technology gets better, we can get better.
But also it's driven by what is that we need to do with Wi-Fi. And this has been actually changing through time quite a lot. And if you think about Wi-Fi initially, it was created as a point-to-point technology in [INAUDIBLE]. And then it became a replacement for wire, for Ethernet wire.
And it's only afterwards that that got used the way we do now for basic connectivity. But it wasn't really a plan, through a conscious plan in the very beginning when Wi-Fi-- well, when 802.11 was born. And so one way to think about it is that Wi-Fi is a continuously evolving technology that it's getting better and better at fitting our changing needs.
And our needs are changing. And the technology is changing. So within that, it makes sense to think about Wi-Fi as moving from like Wi-Fi 4 where you have data rates of 600 megabits per second, all the way to Wi-Fi 6 where we have about 10 gigabits per second.
And if you remember when Wi-Fi 4 came out, people were asking, so what do we need 600 megabits per second for. What do we do with this? And sure enough, we found plenty of ways to use them.
And as we move forward, the data rate is this much higher. But also there are so many more things that we learned to do with Wi-Fi. And we will go through them.
Now, as we move forward, there are different changes. So there are different bands. And with Wi-Fi 6, that's an historical change. We are getting 6 gigahertz. So that's the biggest increase in spectrum availability for unlicensed use since the beginning.
And that's going to be a huge thing because it just creates so much more. We have so much more spectrum available for it, and spectrum that is not used yet. So that's a huge thing. And it's important to also remember that right now it's basically in the US. But there are other countries like the UK and Brazil and others that are coming online.
And this is really important. This has been really crucial to the success of Wi-Fi all along. And if you remember, the very beginning, there were some limitations on where you could use Wi-Fi. But then everybody came together and that was established. So Wi-Fi was established as a global standard.
And if you remember, there was HiperLAN by ETSI. And there was a situation where everybody agreed that there had to be a global standard. The spectrum had to be harmonized. And that really created the basis on which Wi-Fi could become so successful and to the point that right now-- well, by 2022 Cisco forecast that over 50%-- over half of all the IP traffic is going to go through Wi-Fi. So it's a massive success for Wi-Fi.
Now, as we move through this generation, not only but the use of Wi-Fi is increasing and the data rate, but there are a lot of other dimensions in which Wi-Fi has been improving. Security is one of them, latency. And we will look at them later.
And basically is the area interface has improved. What that means is that as the performance improves, the number of use cases also has been extending. Carlos, would you like to add something to it?
I think you covered very well, Monica. Just to highlight the fact that how prevalent Wi-Fi is today in our homes and our lives for everything that we do to work and play, and now working from home and studying from home.
And these different generations of Wi-Fi all the way from back in the Wi-Fi 4 days, when we launched 11N in 2007, and then Wi-Fi 5 coming in 2013. So we see this cadence of every roughly six years for every new generation. And last year with Wi-Fi 6, also a six-year cadence.
As we go and talk about what's coming up next, we do see that the cadence are becoming tighter. And we're going to be probably seeing more and more innovations coming online in the next few years. And it's a very exciting area to be able to have impact in people's lives everyday.
Thank you. That was a very good orientation to get us started. Carlos, there has been quite a bit of discussion in the ecosystem about the recent FCC 6G vote. What does this mean for Wi-Fi 6, and particularly for Wi-Fi 6E?
Thank you for this question. I think it's just important to talk about Wi-Fi 6 first. And really what this technology brings in terms of new capabilities to products and how users are going to be able to make use of it. With Wi-Fi 6, we have now a technology that provides four times greater scalability with new technologies around OFDMA and better interference management, especially we use more capabilities to do a more scheduled access, and therefore better QoS.
With Wi-Fi 6, we are also introducing better security with WPA3, the new latest and greatest generation of Wi-Fi security. And we also see a much better improvement in latency, up to 75% improvements in latency. And so Wi-Fi 6 on its own is a technology that provides significant improvement over previous generations.
Now moving on to your question around 6 gigahertz and what is taking place now in this new spectrum, this is really a watershed moment for Wi-Fi. With the recent 6 gigahertz vote by the FCC, that opens up 1,200 megahertz of spectrum for low power indoor use by unlicensed technologies, including of course Wi-Fi.
Just to give a feel for what that means, today, if you think about the 5 gigahertz band, we only have two 160 megahertz channels. For the market to really be able to offer gigabit Wi-Fi services, we need more of those 160 megahertz channels. And we only have two today in 5 gigahertz.
What the 6 gigahertz band will enable is around seven 100 megahertz channels. That would then provide capabilities to really enable gigabit and then multi-gigabit in the future as we're going to talk about Wi-Fi 7 later services to users. So use cases that before Wi-Fi in 5 gigahertz may be difficult to achieve in certain scenarios because the spectrum is so used, they become really a reality when you think of the 6 gigahertz band.
And this really is going to be a major shift in the industry, a major shift in the market. And we not only see the US, the FCC taking the leadership position in opening this spectrum, but as Monica knows that there's other countries in the world that are really moving fast to make sure that we have this spectrum available for unlicensed operation.
I mean, just yesterday, for example, South Korea has issued a public consultation for opening up also 20 megahertz of spectrum, just like in the US, for low power operations as well. And we see that happening in many other countries in the world, in South America, in Brazil, in Colombia. Canada is having discussions.
And this is really a leadership position that the FCC has taken in the US. And it's going to bring major benefits for users and the applications around virtual reality and streaming and cloud gaming that today they are difficult to realize in the 5 gigahertz. But that will become so much more prominent with Wi-Fi 6E being expanded into the 6 gigahertz band.
Monica, would you like to to comment on that?
Yeah, yeah, and 6 is important because not only the 6 gigahertz spectrum, it's a huge band. But it's basically used to. So it's really a great opportunity for free enterprise to run a lot of IoT applications in that band. And of course, it's also very valuable for home use and other things.
But it's really good to enable or to get better support for a lot of industrial applications. And at home too. Because when you think about it, there are so many devices that we start having that use Wi-Fi. So that's going to be a huge opportunity.
And also I would like to point out we're doing some articles on Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7. So stay tuned and you'll be able to get a high level overview of what the change means.
OK, now that we've discussed where we are in the industry, let's turn our focus to where we're going. Could you explain what Wi-Fi 7 is anticipated to be? What are its key attributes? How will it compare to Wi-Fi 6?
Also, when might it be fully specified. Monica, could you begin?
Yes, Michael, thanks. So Wi-Fi 7. That's a new concept right there. And you might be wondering, we're still starting to get into Wi-Fi 6, why I think about Wi-Fi 7. And it is important to keep the mind to the future.
So Wi-Fi 6 is today. It's a huge step forward in a long journey. And the next generation, that's going to be Wi-Fi 7.
And the reason why it's important to think about it is because if you think about the technology evolution, there are multiple parallel paths. And Carlos will talk about them later. But we're moving forward along different dimensions. And for each dimension, whatever we have today we know we can go farther moving forward.
So it's really important to keep our mind, what is that we can do today and where is that we're going next. And where we're going next, it's quite exciting.
So well first of all, the nomenclature, we're moving to b. So everything until now is in 802.11a-something, so a x is the latest, right? And we're going to move to b.
So, Wi-Fi 7 is going to be 802.11b, so first next step. But then there is going to be more capacity, again, support for up to 7 gigahertz. And also for the lower bands as well where you could have some IoT applications like sensors that require less bandwidth. So it's a completely different type of use for Wi-Fi new use.
And there is the improvement for latency and jitter. Basically what that does is to make the network more deterministic. The farther you have lower latency and jitter combined makes the network much more predictable. You know exactly what you should expect from the network. And that's really important for a lot of industrial applications, IoT applications.
What does it mean in terms of time? Well, so we're just starting on that. And so the idea is it's going to take you another five years, so 2024. So again, this is happening. You're not going to see commercial products next year. But it's something to keep in mind to see what is the perspective that we're taking, what kind of improvements we should expect.
And targeted use cases, so it's pretty much everything-- from your laptop, here you can see in the item, to your fridge, and goes through all the industrial applications. And when performance improves, there's many more things that you can do. And I would say that probably there's a lot of usages just that we haven't even thought about today.
And that's usually where the interesting part comes along. We'll try to see, what is the max usage. But the most interesting one is one that we have not thought about, unless we're going to go to some at the end of the presentation. And for some of them, that might happen.
And that that is important because whenever you have an improvement in performance, initially you wonder, well, do we really need it. But then what happens is that invariantly we're very creative with finding new ways to use it once you have the performance that is there and available. So Carlos, what do you think?
Yes, I always like to think that the capacity and the data rate and lower and lower and lower latencies. It's almost like disk space in a hard drive. The more you have it, the more you're going to use it. And I think it's important to start talking about Wi-Fi segment and see what the industry, what the market wants to achieve, because that's really trying to make sure that we keep evolving the technology to meet users' needs.
And while we are still early in the process, and by the way, the features that we're going to be talking about here, the capabilities we're going to be talking about here for Wi-Fi 7, they're still being developed as part of the standardization, the IEEE, as part of the 802.11b project. But these are things that it's important that we start talking to the market, getting feedback, and making sure that we are doing the right things by the users and also the use cases.
So the evolution of Wi-Fi, as you can see, keeps moving. There's a lot of changes that are happening to the network, with compute coming closer to the user, with the whole natural transformation, of virtualization, that we're just going to put a lot more strain on the access network. And that's what Wi-Fi is-- it's an access network.
And the need to ensure that we have lower latencies, better capacity, more determinism. It's really becoming more and more critical for Wi-Fi. And Wi-Fi 7 has a lot of attributes that are being put together to really address the new generation of use cases that we expect to be coming online in the 2024 timeframe.
And so-- sorry, go ahead.
No, go ahead.
So here we see the key features. We mentioned a lot of them. As Carlos was saying, you have your hard drive and you can always put new things. What we are seeing in Wi-Fi as you go through the generations and the years, initially it was just laptops, and then there were phones.
And then what we're seeing is a more diverse use of the network. So you tend to have more device types, more usage models. And because of that, you need to have Wi-Fi to be more flexible, to have better capabilities, to serve all those use cases. And this is something that keeps getting more and more important.
So for instance, the area capacity is important because you tend to have many more devices, many more terminals. And some have big requirements in terms of capacity or in terms of latency. Some don't. But some need to have more efficient in terms of power.
So there is much more of a variety in there. And the variety on one hand is a technological challenge in the sense that you need to be able to accommodate all of those. And Wi-Fi is getting increasingly good at it. But it's also an opportunity because once you have all those services that need to be served by the same network, you make the work way more cost effective.
And as Carlos was saying, as we're moving forward, it's important to have everybody to understand what's going on. It's very important ahead of the standard conclusion so that there is a way to get all the feedback in to make sure that all the ecosystem is represented and is part of the process as we go through the standardization. Carlos, back to you.
Michael, I think, is trying to.
OK, that was quite a helpful orientation to what Wi-Fi 7 is expected to be, what we can expect from it. But I'm sure we're all curious to know what are some of the technical aspects the industry is now working on to achieve those requirements that have been set. Carlos, could you offer some insight on that?
Yes. That will be my pleasure. So there are many exciting features that have been discussed in the timeframe of Wi-Fi 7. And let's start with some of the physical layer features.
And so there are several topics. We cannot cover everything here. Just try to highlight the key ones. First, there is a lot of interest to develop a packet format, the preamble format that if you future proof. Every time you have a new generation, it always incurs a definition of a new preamble, a new structure. And we have been doing that for every new generation.
For Wi-Fi 7, the group has been very conscience in trying to define something that is more future-proof, that we can carry things like version numbers and specific features of the transmission, like the transmission duration and so on. And that would allow also whenever we have a Wi-Fi 8 in the future, that we can reuse these future-proof capability in new versions of Wi-Fi, new generations of Wi-Fi.
The other capability that's being defined is 320 megahertz channels. And you may be surprised that we are doubling the channel size for Wi-Fi 7. Today with Wi-Fi 6 and a 6E, the maximum channel size is 160 megahertz.
For Wi-Fi 7, we are moving towards a 320 megahertz channelization, which of course is possible in the 6 gigahertz band. And going back to the discussion we had earlier in this call, that's really why opening up the 6 gigahertz is so critical because that enables us to have wider channels. And then with wider channels, we can achieve better speeds, higher capacity, and of course reduced latency.
And if you think about it, the 6 gigahertz band is going to allow us to have three-- depends how you look at it-- three non-overlapping channels. But also if we decide to have overlapping channels, could it be up to six overlapping 320 megahertz channels.
And that will offer much greater capacity. You theoretically double the capacity as what we can get today with 160 megahertz channels. And all the features that are also being considered, which I think is a very exciting feature, is something that is called multi-link operation. And before I even get to multi-link, let's talk a little bit about the single link case. And that's really going to pave the way to understanding multi-link.
With the enhancements that are being done at the physical layer in doubling the number of channels, and we also are going to be doubling the number of streams from eight to 16, and with the new modulation going from up to 1K QAM that we had in Wi-Fi 6 to 4K QAM that we plan to do in Wi-Fi 7, the data rate, the single-linked data rate, the theoretical data rate is going to increase almost five times compared to Wi-Fi 6.
So Wi-Fi 7 is going to have a theoretical physical data rate that is almost five times higher than Wi-Fi 6. But of course, these are things that you have access points and clients, that have the maximum number of streams and operate in those 320 megahertz channels, and also using the highest modulation. That's why it's theoretical. It's not a very common scenario.
And so if you consider a practical scenario where you have access points and clients, and usually clients assuming two spatial streams, and with different modulations, 256 and 1K or 4K, we are still getting multi-gigabit rates by using 320 megahertz channels which we expect to be broadly available in two spatial streams.
And we are looking really looking at data rates that could well exceed 5 gigabits per second when you consider clients that are operating with 320 megahertz channels and 4K QAMs or going to maybe 4 and 1/2 gigabits per second when using 1K QAM. So really it's a major speed boost that you're going to get with practical, really real devices that we're going to get with Wi-Fi 7.
Now this is the single link data rate. Now, imagine a scenario where now that Wi-Fi operating 2.4, 5 gigahertz, and 6 gigahertz, then you could aggregate data rates from multiple links, from multiple individual links. So access points today already can operate concurrently in different bands. And now imagine also having that capability on clients that could also operate concurrently multiple bands.
Now, you now have a scenario where a client can actually exploit the fact that he has an operation in 5 gigahertz, perhaps using one 6 megahertz channels. And he also is operating in 6 gigahertz, maybe using 320 megahertz channels. And now you have a possibly to combine these data rates on the same stream even, and then basically add up these data rates. And they're going to become, for the example that I used, 160 and 320, 5 and 5 gigahertz, respectively, to lead to a data rate that is seven times higher than Wi-Fi 6.
So now you have these multi-level capacity improvements that are going to provide at the physical layer much higher data rates. And then one level up at the MAC layer that's going to collect these data rates and then provide much higher capacities.
And it's not just data rate. I mean, I think what's really important to realize is that this is only also going to improve significantly the latency, because now you have a capability now to be able to balance the load across different bands. And you are not able to take advantage of the fact that some bands are less congested than others.
And therefore, you can use those channels opportunistically, and then be able to then send the data in the ones that is less loaded. So these capabilities are going to help in terms of capacity. It's going to help in terms of latency. It's going to help in terms of redundancy. That it could even send the same data packet twice, for example, in each link.
And for some applications that reliability is very important, you want to achieve five nines, even more than that. You want these type of capabilities that would allow you to do that. So multi-link is a very essential feature that is being discussed and being developed as part of Wi-Fi 7.
And let me mention one more, which is a feat feature around multi-AP. For those of you that are familiar with cellular communications, I think we have to be honest with ourselves. I mean, cellular has really been looking at technologies that allow taking advantages of multiple base stations, right, coordinating transmissions. And that's what we usually call comp techniques.
In the Wi-Fi world, we don't have those, you know those techniques yet implemented that are available. Well, that's changing in Wi-Fi 7. And in Wi-Fi, the benefits that we have is, of course, in many deployments, if you think of enterprise deployments where you have access points that belong to the same operator, right, whether it's an IP or [INAUDIBLE], that you can actually coordinate these access points, scheduled transmissions, and really take advantage of better coordination across access points. And that can be done in different ways.
And so in for Wi-Fi 7, there are many discussions around different techniques for multi-AP coordination that would then enable improving whether it's improving spatial reuse, making sure that different transmissions can take place at the same time different access points, whether it's having access point perform transmissions simultaneously to the same client to increase SNR, whether it's operations that you can basically have access points making use of these joint OFDMA resource units.
And so there are many techniques that are being developed then that together collectively, the idea of these multi-AP techniques is that they will be able to improve the performance and of the network diminishability and therefore offer better experiences in environments where you can have that coordination such as, again, in enterprise environments.
May I add something here? So when you look at this, this is better technology, lower latency. Everything from a technology and performance point of view, it's all better.
But there is also another element to this that as the technology gets better and you have wider channels, and you have in enough spectrum, what you can do, you can use your spectrum more efficiently because you can have better frequency reuse. So you can use the same amount of spectrum and accommodate more usage.
And part of it is because the access is more efficient. But also because you can reduce spectrum more efficiently. Now the reason why this is important is obviously that you can do more with the same amount of spectrum. But also it doesn't price into the economic value of using spectrum for unlicensed access.
And as the spectrum utilization goes up, that means that the spectrum, the economic value that you can extract from that spectrum is even higher. And we already know that with the current spectrum allocation, the value that is extracted from the spectrum in terms of benefits to the economy is huge.
And that's going to become even better because you're going to be able to use the spectrum more efficiently. So it's not only performance. It's also the value of the spectrum that is going to increase as we move forward.
All right, thank you for that excellent overview. Now that we've covered some of the key technical topics here, let's talk about what the industry is doing from a business perspective to help streamline adoption and growth. Monica?
Yes, so let's talk a bit about open roaming, which is in a sort of parallel path. It's not Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 7. It's not depending on any generation. But it's a huge enabler for everybody using Wi-Fi.
And things have got so much better now wherever you have your phone, your laptop, whatever you have. You go somewhere and it's got much easier to connect. Yet it's not completely seamless.
And there has been a lot of work with Passpoint to make it easier. And so we have the technology there. It has been around for a while and allows people to connect to Wi-Fi networks safely on an trusted basis.
So basically, you can connect to a network that it's a trusted network without doing anything. So it's automatic. So the technology is there. But what was missing so far was the OpenRoaming ecosystem.
And so what's new now is that with OpenRoaming, which is, again, based on Passpoints, and the WDA is managing it. So it's got Wi-Fi alliance, WDA and all of the roaming players coming together.
And here, it's something that is built on the technologies, but it's beyond the technology. It's the ability to create a federation of users that work together to make sure that this is possible. And this is absolutely important. So it's the ability to get everybody together to realize that it's necessary to have this cooperation and this federation-type of model for everybody to make the Wi-Fi experience better.
And so with Passpoint before-- so the technology was there, but because it was mostly driven to ensure that people with a cellular connection could also connect to Wi-Fi network was a little bit more limited. And now it's really open where everybody can collaborate. And everyone has to collaborate to make this work.
And so you will see anybody from the end user, device vendors, all the way to not only technology companies like Cisco, Aruba, and then [INAUDIBLE] providers like Google, Facebook, and so on, but also the network providers which could be somebody like Marriott, Starbucks, or Target.
And the idea is to make sure that this is kind of like a club. Like, I know who you are. I can go to a different club. But they know that I belong to another club somewhere else, that we're all part of the same group.
And what is good about it, that everybody is at the same level so that you can be a mobile operator or you don't have to be a mobile operator. But the moment I show up somewhere with the device, the device and the network will be able to acknowledge each other, to know who should be trusted, and move on.
And this is really important-- to have not only seamless access, which you can have if the network is open, but to have a seamless access that is secure and trusted. And this really makes a huge difference, I think will be important, because we all have a pretty good experience with Wi-Fi. But it would be even better if you don't have to worry, wherever you go, you know you're secure. You don't need that code to log in. And I think it's going to be a huge step forward.
Carlos, what do you think about that?
No, I fully agree. I don't really have much to add except to say that making sure that we allow clients to connect to every Wi-Fi network and don't have to go through the process of having to search for the right network or go through captive portals or I don't have the right credentials. And it's just something that we as an industry have to do and have to enable.
It's a real pain points for users. And I feel very strongly that OpenRoaming is something that collectively all of us in the industry need to make sure that-- the technology is in place. Let's go out and resolve the business issues and make sure that other players come together and make this happen.
Thank you. And so this seems like a very practical solution for the concrete challenge here. It will be very interesting to see how that evolves. Of course, no conversation about the future of technology is complete without a discussion or about the most exciting new use cases.
So Carlos and Monica, what do you think are some of the most exciting use cases being worked on and why?
Well, I would like to mention one. And I'm sure Monica will add and mention some more exciting use cases. But I do believe there is some new exciting technologies coming and are being developed now around what we usually call Wi-Fi sensing. It's a term that we use to describe the use of Wi-Fi not for communication-- I mean, we usually think of Wi-Fi as a means to send data back and forth-- browsing the internet or watching a movie or a video or the various use cases that we use in the office.
Wi-Fi sensing is about not using the Wi-Fi transmissions to actually send data but to espouse what's happening in the environment. Just imagine the use case like, for example, home security where when you leave your home, imagine if you could use your Wi-Fi that, well, if a door is open or something happens in your home, that the Wi-Fi could basically detect the changes that are happening in the channel. And there will be a module that is using those transmissions, that those Wi-Fi transmissions would then figure out that, hey, a door was open.
Or maybe your son is in a given bedroom. There are use cases around fault detection. If you have an elderly parent, you want to monitor them remotely.
And so we all have Wi-Fi at home. We all have Wi-Fi in our offices. And I think it's a very exciting use of Wi-Fi, using Wi-Fi to do more than just communication, but to be able to sense the environment, whether it's detecting a person, animals, but detecting gestures.
It could even detect that someone is making a gesture in front of a screen. Or you want to control a device without really having to touch the device. And so there are many exciting use cases.
That's one thing that I'm excited about. But there are many other use cases. And I'll let the Monica please chime in.
Yes, actually, when I first heard about Wi-Fi sensing, it took me a while to figure out why do we care and what it is about. We have video cameras. Why do we need Wi-Fi sensing?
And when you think about it, it's highly complimentary. With Wi-Fi sensing, because you don't have a camera, you avoid some of the privacy issues that you would otherwise have. So you mentioned somebody go to the bathroom. You don't need to have a camera there. But you might want to track the movement by that. Sometimes too much detail is too much.
And also, it allows you to get an overall view without too much processing. Video processing is still computationally expensive. So there is a lot of ways in which Wi-Fi sensing is a good complement or an alternative to video, even though you do have video with your cameras. And with Wi-Fi 6 and 7, the capacity to transmit all the video you want. So that's huge.
The other thing is that you get Wi-Fi sensing for free, because you don't need to do anything else. The signal is there. It's really an interesting way to use something that is already there available for a lot of applications.
So here we have a lot of use cases. But I think there's going to be much more than we can do with that. So I think it's one of the really exciting thing because this is really a completely new use case. It's not just using something that's a simple variation. This is fundamentally a different use of spectrum. So I am very excited about that.
All right, and thank you both for your insights on what we can look forward to in next generation Wi-Fi. It's really intriguing to see what the capabilities can be. I'd like to know ask both of you, Carlos and Monica, to provide some closing thoughts for our session today. Monica, would you like to go first?
Yeah, so I'm going to be quick so that we can have some time for Q&A. OK, so I think that we should see the evolution through Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7 as really that shows the vitality of Wi-Fi. Wi-Fi is a technology that is successful because of continuously help us to get better connectivity.
So, the technology's disruptive in terms of innovation. But there's a continuity. You never have to throw out your Wi-Fi equipment to get to the next generation. So we will continue to use it. And we continue things to get better, to do more things with Wi-Fi.
So this is all really exciting because we'll get to a much better place in a continuous way. So it's really great to have this combination of maturity, continuity, and technological disruption for the best. Carlos?
Yeah, very briefly as well, just to say that we have a very healthy pipeline of innovation coming, up not just with what we are today with Wi-Fi 6 and 6E that still being deployed in the market, and will be deployed the next several years, but very healthy also in Wi-Fi 6.
So I usually like to say that the future is very bright for Wi-Fi. It's really great to be able to be working in this space and reaching people's lives by this very exciting technology. So great, thank you very much. And let's move on.
Thank you, Carlos and Monica. I see we're getting a lot of questions from our audience here. And there is still time to submit your questions using the Q&A ta on the left side of your screen. We'll try to get to as many questions as possible. So let's dig in.
Our first question here is, how does Wi-Fi 7 relate to or compare to 5G or even 6G. Carlos, do you want to that one?
Sure, absolutely. The way that we see it is that they're completely complementary. Wi-Fi is a technology that is very much used today in your home, in your office. We believe that it will continue to be the dominant technology in homes and enterprises.
And cellular is a fantastic technology for many other usages, including your outdoor and, hence, mobile broadband, of course indoor as well in many cases. And really at the end of the day, users need both. The market is better served by both technologies working together because the demand that is going in terms of data rate and usages, they need both technologies to work together.
May I add something here? And I completely agree. And not only we need both, but each technology needs the other to succeed because they cannot both do everything. But at the same time, there is something else.
And the way I think about it is like as if [INAUDIBLE] technologists sit and got together and have coffee and they talk to each other and then they leave. And they'll say, well, they're doing something really cool. And so what you're seeing is that both the 3GPP technologies, so 5G and Wi-Fi, on the other hand, they keep their own personality, their own areas, their own strengths, so to say.
But also, there is learning from each other. And so there is some things that they're starting to share in a way. And I think that that's very good because access technology advances are technology independent. And so it might look like they're getting more similar. And I think they are. But also they still preserve a different personality, if you wish. And that's really what we need. We need more technologists to meet an increasingly large set of needs.
OK so from a global perspective, what can governments do to ensure Wi-Fi is more effective? Are there spectrum considerations to consider to ensure international harmonization?
I think that, and I'll let Carlos comment on this, yes, there is a lot of interest. And I think that every regulator understands the value of having more spectrum. And it's really crucial that it's harmonized.
The good thing about Wi-Fi is that no matter where you go on Earth, you get off the plane and Wi-Fi works. You know that. And that is a huge value. So regulators know and they're really working and very supportive of it.
It's just that sometimes it can be a little bit frustrating because to go through a regulatory process it's always a long-term thing. I mean, it takes some time. But I think we're getting there. And we're going to see a lot of progress with 6 gigahertz in the near future.
Yeah, harmonization is critical. Harmonizing rules across the world, that really is what enables economies of scale. And so it's extremely important, for example, that we have [INAUDIBLE] in the US, in Korea, in different places in the world that we try to harmonize it as much as possible because that is going to enable this whole economy of scale and, of course, be able to deliver products at a lower cost at the moment that you have these economies of scale.
And right now with 6 gigahertz, that's really where the industry is focused. And we really work with governments across the world to try and make sure that these harmonizations are taking place.
All right, our next question is, are there any scheduled improvements to Wi-Fi 6 regarding the legacy use of CSMA CA/CD. Is this also converging with how 3GPP operates?
Yeah, so let me comment on that. There are definitely many improvements taking place. So in Wi-Fi 6, one of the things that has been done, and I don't want to get too technical, but it's something that we call the triggered base operation. Essentially, it's giving more leeway to the access point to scheduled transmissions that's taking place on the network.
And so the access points can have a mode of operation where it does have higher priority to access the channel. And by doing so, they can then trigger clients to perform an uplink operation, uplink transmissions, or the access point itself performing downlink transmissions.
So what you're going to see in Wi-Fi 6 is [INAUDIBLE] capabilities that allow you that type of more scheduled operation which many people see that as something that is very ingrained in cellular. And we do expect that trend to also carry on to Wi-Fi 7.
Thank you, Carlos. Monica, did you have some thoughts on that as well?
No, I think we move to the next question.
OK, so this next question will be our final one for the hour. We had a lot of great questions today. We could not get to all of them. But we will try our best to get back to everyone who submitted personally after the webinar.
And so our final question is, is Wi-Fi 7 part of the Wi-Fi Alliance Certification Program?
So let me comment on that as well because I am involved in the Wi-Fi Alliance. And of course, what happens in the Wi-Fi Alliance, it's not public, right. But what I can say right now is that Wi-Fi Alliance is very focused on delivering the Wi-Fi 6 and 6E programs.
And there is no official position of the Alliance in terms of Wi-Fi 7 development. We do expect the Wi-Fi 7-- that's Intel now speaking-- devices to be in the market late 2023, in 2024 timeframe. We do expect, though, that to be the case, together with the certification program that Wi-Fi Alliance will be running. But as of now, really, Wi-Fi Alliance focuses on the Wi-Fi 6E and then extensions to the Wi-Fi 6 program.
If I may say so, since I'm not a part of the Wi-Fi Alliance, I can talk a bit more. But typically you start with IEEE, the standardization work. And then the Wi-Fi Alliance starts a certification program after that is done. So it would not be possible until the work reaches a critical stage of IEEE.
So that's the way it has always happened. And so I wouldn't expect the Wi-Fi Alliance to announce anything in the next few weeks or months. So that's the standard process.
All right. And now I'd like to thank our audience for attending this FierceMarkets webinar and submitting so many great questions. I'd like to thank our speakers for participating, and Intel Senza Fili for presenting today's webinar.
This webinar has been recorded. You'll be able to access the recording within 24 hours using the same audience link that was sent to you earlier. Thank you again for joining us. And we look forward to seeing you at future events.