In a video interview, 5G Technology World speaks with Fanny Mlinarsky, senor VP of Wi-Fi products at Spirent Communications on how 5G and Wi-Fi already use similar radio technologies.
5G and Wi-Fi continue to advance in what seems to be separate ways. 5G is cellular, standardized through 3GPP and operating mostly on licensed bands. Standardized through IEEE, Wi-Fi operates unlicensed on a different set of frequencies. Yet, we expect our mobile devices to seamlessly switch between these two technologies as we move. Indeed, we want our mobile devices on our home Wi-Fi, especially if we don’t have unlimited data plans.
At their radios, the basics of 5G’s modulation: OFDM, is also used by Wi-Fi. Why? Spectral efficiency. As Fanny Mlinarsky explains in the video, the underlying hardware of 5G and Wi-Fi radios is fundamentally the same. Everything above that, however, is quite different. For example, Wi-Fi must contend with different interference issues than cellular because of overlapping channels. In the 2.4 GHz band, for example, only when using channels 1, 6, and 11 can collisions be avoided. That’s unlikely unless your network is far enough away from others, so the signals don’t reach each other.
Fanny Mlinarsky is the senior VP of Wi-Fi products at Spirent Communications. She comes to Spirent by way of Spirent’s acquisition of octoScope, where Mlinarsky was president. That acquisition brought Wi-Fi testing under Spirent’s wing. Network operators, chipset manufacturers, and equipment manufacturers. Use the octoBox and accessories to perform over-the-air wireless tests.