2019 Wireless Broadband Predictions and Trends

By Cambium Networks

It is increasingly important to anticipate demand and changes. How did we do on last year’s predictions? Let’s first review our Predictions for 2018 and share our views on what is coming in 2019.

2018 Predictions Review:

  1. Increasing deployment of FWA – We predicted that governments would continue to seek to level the economic and educational playing field for all citizens. What we observed is that in addition to governments, global businesses like Facebook and Microsoft are also driving initiatives to connect the world.
  2. The 5G milestone – We expected the first standard to be published specifying a radio waveform which will meet the IMT-2020 5G requirements. Recently, it has been predicted that 5G technology will have the fastest global rollout of any technology.
  3. Larger, more established service providers to represent an increasing portion of FWA deployments – We anticipated fixed line providers are looking to increase broadband throughput and reduce the maintenance cost of copper lines. The demand for bandwidth is driving service providers from copper lines.
  4. Consolidation among service providers – As predicted, consolidation continues to accelerate. In addition to larger established services providers purchasing small local operators, some local WISPs are driving consolidation to become regional WISPs.
  5. Artificial Intelligence and network engineering staff – While Artificial Intelligence (AI) will make the job of network administration easier and more efficient we saw its full promise as being a few years out.

2019 Predictions:

  1. Proliferation of devices – As more devices continue to be added to the home, business and industry there will be increased dependence on connectivity. These devices will by default will be equipped with wireless connectivity, making each house, enterprise and industrial operation a network, with wireless connectivity as the glue that holds them together. This will accelerate the automation task in home and enterprises at a rapid clip.
  2. Increasing broadband speeds – Demand for throughput continues to escalate based on the need to stream media-rich information and the growing population of video and voice savvy devices at a given location.
  3. Increasing network backhaul speed – With increased demand at the edge of the network, the backhaul to connect edge locations is not keeping up with the end-to-end throughput needs. Innovation in backhaul infrastructure connectivity is needed to scale capacity to meet the needs of the users and devices at the network edge.
  4. Security concerns – Open standards for edge devices increase the speed of innovation, but also increases vulnerability. Networks need a layered security architecture with easy management that encompasses switches, radios and access points to effectively manage security. Layered security will ensure that there is no single point of failure. Security needs to be designed in – not an afterthought.
  5. Data distilled in the cloud – Edge devices will be able to collect data, and Artificial Intelligence in the cloud will aggregate and analyze data to deliver useful predictions and decisions. This will improve security and reliability. Networks will be comprised of many technologies, leveraging the features that best meet the specific information and business case requirements. Fixed wireless broadband in its many forms will coexist with other technologies to provide the best possible connectivity solution.

Cambium Networks continues to invest in developing Wireless Fabric Intelligent Edge solutions to enable network operators to connect people, places, and things. Check out our vision in our video, and join the discussion on our community.

Published December 20, 2018