What's next for cellular? Try Wi-Fi

By Ofer Saban, CTO, Corning MobileAccess, Network World |  Networking, 4G wireless, wifi

This vendor-written tech primer has been edited by Network World to eliminate product promotion, but readers should note it will likely favor the submitter's approach.

A perception exists that a network war is unfolding in the enterprise, with Wi-Fi facing off against up-and-coming cellular services, specifically 4G.

Wi-Fi is a seasoned, accessible solution for business, while 4G is still being refined for enterprise-specific needs but appears to hold great promise as a low-latency protocol that can support critical enterprise applications, a necessity in the "business everywhere" enterprise of today.

But this perception of a "war" does not actually hold water. While some analysts tabbed 4G as a Wi-Fi killer, carriers and wireless operators remained quiet on the subject, portraying it more as a companion or parallel service in many cases. Why this silence when it comes to taking on 4G's rival headfirst? Because the next big thing in cellular could actually be Wi-Fi.

LTE SPECTRUM: How much do the big carriers have?

BACKGROUND: Wi-Fi, mobile data, BYOD and tablets -- an interesting puzzle: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

Not-so-strange bedfellows

Often taken for granted, at least by businesses outside of the service industry, is the fact that many wireless carriers and operators already offer Wi-Fi service, albeit on a hotspot/location limited basis. Starbucks coffee shops, for example, are AT&T free Wi-Fi zones, while many airports and other public venues offer similar offerings through Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.


Originally published on Network World |  Click here to read the original story.
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