The Beacon

Industry Impact award winner: Cisco


Wi-Fi Alliance® welcomes 2020 honorees into our Wi-Fi Alliance Hall of Fame. This series highlights the companies and individuals who have brought invaluable contributions to the Wi-Fi® industry, and have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to advancing the Wi-Fi Alliance mission to “connect everyone and everything, everywhere.” Wi-Fi Alliance recognizes Hall of Fame honorees in the following categories: Industry Impact, Mission Specialist, and Quality of Service. Read more on this year’s winners.

The Industry Impact award recognizes outstanding member companies who have provided sustained service to Wi-Fi Alliance and made significant contributions to our mission and the Wi-Fi industry over the last year. Companies receiving this year’s award have had a material impact in gaining 6 GHz unlicensed spectrum for Wi-Fi, enabling Wi-Fi 6E to become a reality.

What do you consider to be Cisco’s biggest impact on the Wi-Fi industry? 

Leadership. Cisco is a leader in Wi-Fi infrastructure and has been leading the wireless industry since the inception of 802.11 in the late 1990s. In fact, our share is more than most competitors combined.  Because of this, the industry looks to Cisco to provide technical insights and set the example for industry collaboration necessary to make the Wi-Fi ecosystem successful. Getting the standards right, promoting interoperability, and leading industry initiatives are examples of the great contributions Cisco believes are its responsibility to the growth of the industry.

As the industry leader, Cisco has been involved in development of a number of wireless technologies including Passpoint® and OpenRoaming. In addition, Cisco took on leadership responsibility within global coalition of Wi-Fi companies that helped deliver the new 6 GHz spectrum. Cisco also helped initiate the 802.11r standard and led the industry in interference detection and mitigation with CleanAir in 2010.

What does Cisco see as the main reason for Wi-Fi proliferation around the world? 

Cisco views Wi-Fi proliferation as a combination of various benefits. Its ease of use is as welcome in enterprise networking as it is in residential use cases. For enterprises, it has developed into the leading indoor wireless networking solution set, and can be managed as an integral part of an enterprise network. The technology is: flexible to enable it be used for both high and low bandwidth applications; backwards compatible with previous standards; provides a strong value proposition compared to cost; and shares common spectrum across the world (2.4 GHz) as well as significant allocations of spectrum in the 5 GHz band globally. As a result, Cisco sees the use of Wi-Fi growing exponentially.

"Wi-Fi has grown to be an absolutely essential technology in today’s world. I am thrilled to see the incredible amount of innovation around Wi-Fi recently, which will only be accelerated by the release of the new Wi-Fi 6E spectrum. The possibilities it provides are boundless and I’m excited to see the how Wi-Fi continues to evolve now and into the future. The best is yet to come."
-Mary Brown, Sr. Director of Technology and Spectrum Policy

What does Cisco believe is one Wi-Fi technology that will have the biggest impact on transforming the Wi-Fi experience?

Cisco fully believes that OpenRoaming, based on Passpoint, will have the biggest impact on transforming the Wi-Fi experience. With seamless access and onboarding to Wi-Fi networks, users have access to secure, reliable, high-speed Wi-Fi access across potentially billions of global hotspots.


The statements and opinions by each Wi-Fi Alliance member and those providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions or views of Wi-Fi Alliance or any other member. Wi-Fi Alliance is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information provided by any member in posting to or commenting on this blog. Concerns should be directed to

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