WiFiNOW London conference themes were WiFi-6, 6 GHz and 802.11ah

Big themes at the show were WiFi-6, 6 GHz, and 802.11ah. We share some comments about the following organizations: WiFi Alliance, Commscope, Newracomm, Celeno, Cambium, Juniper Networks, On Semiconductor, Extreme Networks, Webb Search, Facebook, UK’s Ofcom, Huawei, and 650 Group.

The WiFi Alliance and a handful of other speakers commented that WiFi-6 has lower latency than 5G, but the Alliance conceded that cellular had better mobility.  We think the WiFi community is not doing enough to promote WiFi-6’s low latency capabilities

Commscope expects 6 GHz 802.11ax products to be shown at the CES show in January 2020 and that FEM and filters are not available today but will be by year-end or early 2020.

Newracomm is an 802.11ah (900 MHz WiFi) chip company that had won an award at the show. It claims to be an early leader in the market and based on comments made during presentations, we expect by 2H20, we will see systems and IoT services based on these types of chips.

Celeno, a stand-alone WiFi chip company, demonstrated radar on WiFi chip capability – the company won multiple award at the show. The company expects that a year from now, its Doppler on WiFi will emerge in products from SPs such as BT, Orange, and Comcast. The Doppler service only consumes about 3-5% of throughput capability when using Doppler and enables some very interesting capabilities such as fall detection, proximity detection, people counting and arm gestures.

ON Semiconductor’s Quantenna group won an award at the show.  

Cambium, in a presentation, explained that it is looking at an expansion to CBRS, 5G FWA backhaul, and 60 GHz.

Juniper Networks has been hiring in Europe as it expands its enterprise sales capabilities. It’s recently hired team made a positive impression on the audience. We tweeted about how great and fun the presentation by recent hire Jussi Nivikiemi’s presentation.

Extreme Networks presented its view that Artificial Intelligence won’t replace IT workers – it will just make them better.

A spectrum consultant – Webb Search –  said that DFS is not working in the UK in 5 GHz and wastes a lot of bandwidth – most WiFi products don’t bother trying to operate one the spectrum covered by DFS. He advocated for using a database in the sky approach similar to what is being proposed for 6 GHz.

UK’s Ofcom representative, Christina Data, explained that it is researching both 5 GHz and 6 GHz as a comprehensive solution.  Ms. Data acknowledged that DFS may have some challenges and was diplomatic in response to questions about how 6 GHz will emerge.

Huawei advocated for an unpopular viewpoint (at a WiFi show) that 6 GHz device makers should register for IMT designation. In a panel that included German WiFi equipment vendor Lancom and Commscope, the other two vendors made counterpoints, including that this move to IMT will delay the rollout of 6 GHz by at least four years.

Facebook is advocating a non-AFC approach to low power 6 GHz in the US market. We have learned through multiple sources that it has recently a demonstrated a prototype of an AFC, however.

​650 Group. The Chris DePuy presentation hit on three topics: unlicensed and shared spectrum impact on WiFi, WiFi and WiFi-6 shipments, and WiFi semiconductors.