79% of service providers, equipment manufacturers and enterprises have adopted or plan to adopt the WBA OpenRoaming standard

The Wireless Broadband Alliance’s (WBA) OpenRoaming system was only introduced last May, and yet, a recent survey revealed that nearly four out of five (79%) of service providers, equipment manufacturers and enterprises questioned said that they have adopted or plan to adopt the WBA OpenRoaming standard.

In August, WBA Director Bruno Tomas told RCR Wireless News that the OpenRoaming system aims to automate which network the user’s device connects to achieve the best coverage, as well as allow a user to seamlessly and securely go from one Wi-Fi network to the next without the need for logins, registrations or passwords.

Supporters of WBA OpenRoaming include AT&T, Boingo, Broadcom, Cisco, Commscope, Google, Intel and Samsung.

An impressive 95% of the communications industry survey participants said that Wi-Fi 6 or Wi-Fi 6E will be important to their business, with 65% saying they have deployed or will deploy Wi-Fi 6/6E before the end of 2021. Fifty-seven percent believe that multi-access edge computing (MEC) will lead to new use cases for Wi-Fi in the future

Roaming emerged as is the number one monetization strategy for 2021 with 45% placing it in their top three choices, followed by offload (38%) and analytics (32%).

The report also indicated that 67% of respondents expect convergence of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G would be very important or critical to their future business plans, results that Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of Wireless Broadband Alliance said are significant.

“There was a time, not so long ago, that when we discussed the potential for Wi-Fi roaming or the convergence of Wi-Fi 6 and 5G, we were met with blank stares,” he explained. “Now, it’s the complete opposite. Across the comms industry, we’re seeing excitement building around these trends. 2020 has been a difficult year for everyone and this reinforces the role of Wi-Fi during the pandemic to keep everyone connected.”

He added that Wi-Fi proved itself to be “the unsung hero” during the COVID-19 crisis.

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