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Practical differences between Wi-Fi and private wireless 5G networks

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Executive Summary

Wi-Fi and 5G are two fantastic technology tracks often incorrectly compared side by side. The fact is that neither one can ever fully replace the other. Right now, Wi-Fi approaches four billion product shipments annually, while at the same time 5G is entering the enterprise space, not to replace Wi-Fi, but to complement it for use cases that require coverage, mobility, deterministic performance, and native, built-in security.

When comparing these two access protocols, physical layer features such as orthogonal frequency-division multiple access are often used. That is like saying “a bike and an airplane both have wheels, so I’ll replace my bike with an airplane”. Understanding use cases and which access technology best solves business needs is key to being successful.

In this article we will look at ten practical differences between Wi-Fi and private 5G networks. The objective is not to shoot down Wi-Fi but to sort out misconceptions and help organizations and enterprises to make better business decisions.

About the Author

Oscar Bexell

Technical Sales Director, Radtonics

Author of this paper, Oscar Bexell, has 20 years experience working across a variety of wireless networks. He is frequently consulted as a lecturer, speaker, writer and strategic advisor in areas such as Low Power Wide Area Networks (LPWAN), Wi- Fi, 4G, 5G and the Internet of Things.


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