NCTA — The Internet & Television Association

The Future of Wi-Fi

wifi

The Future of Wi-Fi

Thanks to unlicensed spectrum, Wi-Fi has become the glue that binds our digital lifestyles. But the last time new unlicensed spectrum was made available, Steve Jobs had just introduced the iPhone and Roku had just made its debut. Fast forward ten years and 18 iPhone iterations later, and nothing has changed. We’re way past due for Wi-Fi upgrade.

But getting America to gigabit speeds will require more than just unlicensed spectrum. It will also require wide, more versatile channels that are already close to the channels we currently use. Enter 5.9 GHz. As the best near-term option for unlicensed spectrum suitable for Wi-Fi, the 5.9 GHz band is the key to next generation technologies and a future free of Wi-Fi traffic jams and bottlenecks.

Every day, more devices depend on Wi-Fi to access the internet. As a result, the unlicensed spectrum that Wi-Fi relies on has become crowded. The gigabit technologies of today and tomorrow are going to need more spectrum to keep up with demand. Enter 5.9 GHz!

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
9/10
internet households use Wi-Fi to connect as of March 2018
Fact
3x
The amount of IP traffic carried over wifi will more than triple between 2016 and 2021
Fact
$525B
Total boost to U.S. economy by unlicensed technologies in 2017
Fact
129%
Growth in economic value of unlicensed since 2013
Fact
$834B
Expected economic value of unlicensed by 2020