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In the era of 5G and 6G, do we still need Wi-Fi?

16 March 2022

Eastern Time (US & Canada) (UTC - 05:00)

For more than twenty years, 802.11 or Wi-Fi has been the undisputed champion of enterprise and home networks. Even as fast cellular data networks have become widely available, Wi-Fi still carries the lion's share of data and has relegated other WLAN or short-range wireless standards to niche roles. But the cellular and Wi-Fi worlds have been converging, slowly, at all layers. Both cellular and Wi-Fi now have commonalities at the physical, network, access control (DIAMETER) and application layers (e.g., web and VoIP) and there's strong interest in using 5G systems for some high-end applications. In planning for 6G, what lessons can we learn from this parallel existence and the historical developments of these networks? What are the advantages and disadvantages of such a hypothetical convergence? We argue that the main difference is not radio technology, but rather the implicit understanding about the operational model, in particular authentication and authorization.

About Our Speaker: Henning Schulzrinne, Columbia University

Henning S.Prof. Henning Schulzrinne received degrees from Darmstadt (Germany) University of Technology, the University of Cincinnati and the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. He has held research positions at GMD Fokus, Berlin and Bell Laboratories before joining the faculty of Columbia University, New York. From 2004 until 2009, he chaired the Department of Computer Science and is now Julian Clarence Levi Professor of Computer Science. From 2010, he has also served as an Engineering Fellow at the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and in 2012, as their CTO. His research interests encompass real-time network services, ubiquitous and mobile computing and network reliability. He is a co-author of more than 70 RFCs, including RTP, RTSP, SIP and GIST.

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