The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has reached a new milestone in its nearly two-decade history, attracting its 150th member, Telefonica, to the organization.
Operators such as Altice, Telia, Turkcell and Telefonica have recently joined the alliance, along with several new enterprise members including Capitol Corridors, General Motors and Marriott Hotels.
These new members joined the alliance alongside a plethora of leading players such as Cambium Networks, Keysight Technologies, HFCL and Hotwire Communications, as industries of all shapes and sizes begin to embrace deterministic Wi-Fi and cellular convergence.
The news comes as WBA’s annual survey revealed high interest in Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, with 83% of businesses having already deployed the technology or making plans to do so before the end of 2022. Nearly two thirds (58%) of businesses said that 6Ghz Wi-Fi was a crucial component in their overall connectivity strategy. As the Wi-Fi community continues to grow under the umbrella of the WBA, technology such as WBA OpenRoaming has also become key to unlocking the value of public Wi-Fi roaming, bringing fixed networks and cellular together in a way that improves the quality of experience for users and creates brand new business use cases through common approaches to identification and authentication.
Innovations in Wi-Fi such as multi-link operation and time-sensitive networking, together with cellular integration both at the access and core network levels, will position Wi-Fi as a crucial component in the connectivity puzzle for businesses in sectors as varied as automation, aviation, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and in the development of transportation networks and so-called ‘smart’ cities.
WBA CEO, Tiago Rodrigues, commented on the alliance’s latest milestone: “Our goal has always been to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with wireless communication technology, connecting the world in a way that removes user friction and creates endless opportunities for business and innovation. In order to achieve this, it’s important that we attract businesses from across the communications ecosystem, from major operators and leading technology companies, to identity providers and a plethora of enterprises, all with a shared interest in connectivity.
“We’re proud to welcome all new members from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem to join our movement and become part of the bright future we envision for Wi-Fi 6 and beyond.”
Atul Bhatnagar, President and CEO of Cambium Networks, said, “Cambium Networks is pleased to be a member of the Wireless Broadband Alliance as the industry delivers multi-gigabit speeds for high density applications and continues to grow. If it can be wireless, it will be wireless.”
Jim Allison, Manager of Planning for Capitol Corridor Joint Powers Authority, commented, “As an intercity passenger rail agency, we are pleased to have our Wi-Fi on-Train leadership recognized and to be welcomed into the diverse Wi-Fi milieu that makes up the WBA family.”
Bhuvnesh Sachdeva, Vice President for HFCL Limited, explained, “Climbing the ladder towards technological innovation, HFCL took the next step by forming an alliance with Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), a global organization that connects people with the latest Wi-Fi initiatives. We see this as an exceptional opportunity to connect with the global players with a shared vision in the Wi-Fi technology. In collaboration with WBA, we aim to constantly innovate with our peers and achieve growth to deliver robust performance. WBA offers a connected communities forum, rural Wi-Fi project and exposure to industries like hospitality and education which are highly relevant to the efforts taken by us so far and thus it will open up new avenues for HFCL to be a future ready organization.”
Richard Lyda, Hotwire Communications’ Wi-Fi Architect, said, “It’s our mission at Hotwire Communications to not only provide innovative new solutions to existing Wi-Fi demands, meeting the needs of tech-savvy consumers but to bridge the growing digital divide by bringing a robust, reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi experience to underserved communities. We proudly joined WBA to be a part of a growing number of organizations aligned with those values, mutually sharing resources and engaging in an industrywide dialogue.”
Ram Periakaruppen, General Manager for Keysight’s Network Test group, Keysight Technologies, commented, “Keysight is pleased to join WBA to further the alliance’s mission of creating seamless and interoperable Wi-Fi experiences by contributing with test, regulatory compliance and optimization solutions. Keysight’s solutions enable Wi-Fi vendors, enterprises and service providers to improve connectivity, reliability, product life, privacy and security. Many industrial IoT applications rely on deterministic time sensitive networking capabilities. This is why Keysight has created a testbed that allows the Wi-Fi community to measure latency and timing in a particular network.”
Andy Ferraro, Senior Director of Digital Guest Experience for Marriott International, said, “Marriott International is excited to join the WBA in creating great digital experiences for everyone. Connectivity, authentication, roaming, etc. are embedded in our everyday lives and customers have high expectations for those experiences. We are encouraged to participate with the WBA and others in pushing the boundaries of technology to define the future.”
Quintus Kahapolarachchi, Group Product Manager, Telia Company, said, “Telia Company is focused on reinventing better connected living, we’re on a mission to create a Better Telia and reinvent better connected living through our digital connectivity, our digital experiences, and our digital infrastructure. We want to work with our colleagues and peers, from operators to enterprise and custodians of the public infrastructure, to ensure that wireless communications work. No matter where you are in the world. Seamless and secure roaming, smart cities, smart homes, next generation speeds and bandwidth are all a part of that bigger picture and WBA is right at the very heart of it. ”
Burak Dogan, Access Transport Network Technology Manager, Turkcell, commented, “Turkcell’s aim is to provide the latest Access Network Technology to improve user experience. Working with the Wireless Broadband Alliance, Turkcell is contributing to leading edge Wi-Fi technology use-cases such as ‘Managed Home Wi-Fi’, ‘Wi-Fi 6E Fixed Wireless Access’ and OpenRoaming and, through this work, will enable Turkcell to make the best use of the latest Wi-Fi technologies across multiple use cases.”