2023 Cambium Networks Predictions: Wireless Broadband Will Be in Strong Position to Bridge Digital Divide

By Cambium Networks

With all the investment, federal funding and interest in building out the country’s broadband infrastructure, the industry is now in a strong position to solve the digital divide. In 2023, as the number of Wi-Fi, wired and IOT devices proliferate, the traditional combination of technology solutions is simply not adequate. With an unprecedented array of new multi-Gigabit wireless technologies, we now have the opportunity to bring fast broadband to everyone, especially since performance, security, affordability, simplicity, and economics are more important than ever.

As we look toward 2023, there are a number of trends, technology innovations and industry developments that will bring more affordable high-speed internet to communities and businesses. Below are our predictions:

  • 6 GHz Adoption will be fast – When the FCC opens the 6 GHz spectrum for outdoor use in 2023, we’ll see an explosion in deployments of fixed wireless broadband (FWB) gear in that band across the US, as service providers and private network operators will increasingly adopt this technology to deliver better customer experiences and the fastest speeds. And those who get a head start with experimental licenses now will be miles ahead of those who do not.
  • The end user experience takes center stage as 5G and Wi-Fi 6/6E standards are adopted – Now more than ever, service providers have realized that delivering exceptional user experiences is what will set them apart especially as networks adopt next generation standards comprising 5G and Wi-Fi 6/6E advances. In 2023, we’ll see more service providers implementing total experience (TX) strategies and optimizing the network by prioritizing the needs of applications first. This will help them differentiate on the Quality of Experience (QoE) as well as deliver faster upload and download speeds without the need to rip and replace network infrastructure. We are already seeing this trend with Managed Service Providers (MSP) who are catering to hospitality, multi dwelling units (MDU), healthcare and municipal projects.
  • Smart cities projects and municipal Wi-Fi will continue to grow  More cities will act to bridge the digital divide, building commerce, and digitizing public services. We will see a preference for integrated systems that leverage a common infrastructure for multiple applications such as video surveillance, sensors and public Wi-Fi due to their simplicity. By aggregating flow of data captured through a growing number of CCTV cameras, beacons and sensors, these cities will make streets safer, while constantly improving efficiency.
  • Outdoor fixed wireless will surge – Gigabit-class service that is quickly and efficiently deployed will be favored in 2023, regardless of the technology used. 5G Fixed and Wi-Fi 6E access will provide a massive step forward for bridging the digital divide by enabling residents and businesses to receive faster broadband and more reliable access to services.
  • Automation will enable lean enterprise IT teams to do more with less – Enterprises will shift resources from managing a wide range of network technologies in silos to managing the network holistically, with process automation for planning, provisioning, and management freeing up resources for other business objectives.
  • Security will be an integral part of services  As devices continue to proliferate, security breaches will become more frequent. End users will value security as much as speed in selecting a provider. As IT security resources are scarce, network operators of all types will increasingly deploy automation to address security issues.

Communications networks architecture and management is one opportunity where enterprises, service providers, and municipal operators can outperform the status quo and achieve measurable and sustainable improvements in efficiency and economics of wireless broadband deployment. And as more spectrum will be allocated in 2023, we should expect to see more technological innovations coming to market to not only bring affordable high-speed connectivity to more locations but also improve the user experience.  

Cambium Networks and our 12,000+ partners are ready to support these changes.

A version of this blog is posted on RCR Wireless at https://www.rcrwireless.com/20221220/network-infrastructure/wireless-broadband-will-be-in-strong-position-to-bridge-digital-divide-in-2023-reader-forum.

Published December 20, 2022