NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

The Future of Wi-Fi

wifi

The Future of Wi-Fi

It’s in your laptop, it’s in your smartphone, it’s in your watch, it’s everywhere. It’s Wi-Fi and it has become the glue binding our digital lifestyles. But if you’ve ever tried getting a good Wi-Fi signal in a coffee shop, on the street, or in a busy airport, you know that Wi-Fi has limitations. When too many people are using the same connection, Wi-Fi quickly overloads and becomes sluggish.

Wi-Fi is everywhere because it runs over unlicensed spectrum which isn’t reserved for any specific user or technology. Wi-Fi's popularity means we need more spectrum to let it grow, but the future is cloudy--no new unlicensed spectrum with characteristics suitable for Wi-Fi has been made available in more than a decade.  We must solve this Wi-Fi crunch in order to meet growing demand for faster, better Wi-Fi and to provide the next generation of unlicensed technologies the room they need to flourish.

Wi-Fi is the most used technology for accessing the Internet. In fact, Wi-Fi carries almost nine times more traffic than mobile networks. Watch the video to learn more about how with better spectrum management, we can make sure Wi-Fi works better for our broadband needs today, and for our ever-increasing needs in the future.

As our technological and digital demands increase and devices expand, so will our need for more spectrum. Fortunately, there is a solution to the Wi-Fi crunch. By freeing up more spectrum and allowing it to be used by unlicensed technologies, we could jump start a new generation of Wi-Fi available in more places and at much higher speeds.

Facts: Future of Wi-Fi

Facts: Future of Wi-Fi

Fact
15
connected devices in an average U.S. home, with most connected via Wi-Fi
Fact
89%
of U.S. households with broadband used Wi-Fi to connect in Q1 2017
Fact
3x
The amount of IP traffic carried over wifi will more than triple between 2016 and 2021