The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) announced that it had reached a new milestone in its nearly two-decade history, attracting its 150th member, Telefonica, to the organization. Operators such as Altice, Telia, Turkcell and Telefonica have recently joined the alliance, along with several new enterprise members including Capitol Corridors, General Motors and Marriott Hotels. These new members joined the alliance alongside a plethora of leading players such as Cambium Networks, Keysight Technologies, HFCL and Hotwire Communications, as industries of all shapes and sizes begin to embrace deterministic Wi-Fi and cellular convergence. 

The news comes as WBA’s annual survey revealed high interest in Wi-Fi 6 and 6E, with 83 percent of businesses having already deployed the technology or making plans to do so before the end of 2022. Nearly two thirds (58 percent) of businesses said that 6 GHz Wi-Fi was a crucial component in their overall connectivity strategy. As the Wi-Fi community continues to grow under the umbrella of the WBA, technology such as WBA OpenRoaming has also become key to unlocking the value of public Wi-Fi roaming, bringing fixed networks and cellular together in a way that improves the quality of experience for users and creates brand new business use cases through common approaches to identification and authentication. 

Innovations in Wi-Fi such as multi-link operation and time-sensitive networking, together with cellular integration both at the access and core network levels, will position Wi-Fi as a crucial component in the connectivity puzzle for businesses in sectors as varied as automation, aviation, hospitality, healthcare, manufacturing, and in the development of transportation networks and so-called ‘smart’ cities. 

WBA CEO, Tiago Rodrigues, commented on the alliance’s latest milestone, “Our goal has always been to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with wireless communication technology, connecting the world in a way that removes user friction and creates endless opportunities for business and innovation. In order to achieve this, it’s important that we attract businesses from across the communications ecosystem, from major operators and leading technology companies, to identity providers and a plethora of enterprises, all with a shared interest in connectivity. 

“We’re proud to welcome all new members from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem to join our movement and become part of the bright future we envision for Wi-Fi 6 and beyond.”