The Beacon

The emergence of the hybrid world with Wi-Fi 6

May 25th, 2022 by Anand Kumar

The global push for connectivity has triggered innovation in Wi-Fi® that will extend beyond the pandemic. Hybrid world, a new term, has been coined which has altered the way we go about our daily chores. It has touched and influenced every aspect of our life interactions—office, education, health, retail, meeting, and entertainment—giving rise to newer ways of doing things.

What is a hybrid world?

With the end of the pandemic on the horizon, we all are gradually shifting from a remote setup to the hybrid model of working, a flexible combination of remote and on-premises. This has transformed the whole world, making it accessible without any need for physical presence.

We have witnessed the effectiveness of this flexible approach, especially in the healthcare and education sectors, where critical services are made possible through the power of Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi 6: A gateway tool to drive the hybrid model

Wi-Fi 6 further enhances the strengths and capabilities of its predecessor. Wi-Fi 6 ensures seamless high-speed bandwidth to multiple simultaneous users having varying bandwidth requirements. Higher speed, lower latency, and improved throughput are some of the features that complement the requirements of new use cases emerging from the hybrid culture.

In the hybrid world, Wi-Fi 6 will serve as the bedrock to address the most demanding hybrid environments where seamless and undisrupted flow of data will be the accepted norm.

Below are some of the most prominent hybrid scenarios where Wi-Fi 6 plays a pivotal role to address changing and emerging demands.

Blended/hybrid learning

More than 1.2 billion children in 186 countries were affected by school closures due to the pandemic.1

The pandemic forced the education system to adopt innovative solutions on an urgent basis to ensure continuity of education across the world. Administrators had to quickly ramp up their IT systems and processes for conducting online classes, exams, virtual parent teacher-conferences, and many more activities. Having experienced online mode, schools and campuses have become far more flexible and are now evaluating blended learning: co-existence of both offline and online learning modules. Their strategic roadmap is inclined toward the faster adoption of technology.

The segment access requirements are slightly more challenging as they require secure high-performance distribution, thus catering to simultaneously connected users with varying bandwidth requirements. This is addressed by Wi-Fi 6 as it has the power to connect 1,024 simultaneous users in a secure environment.

Hybrid workplace

With life returning to normal and offices reopening, most organizations have opted for a flexible work model for their employees—work from home and office. They have revamped their offices and infrastructure to meet the changing demands on their network. Even the home network has transformed into a mini enterprise network. Multiple users in a home latch onto the same network, with a significant increase in their data consumption, which has forced them to evaluate more powerful Wi-Fi access points (APs). Employees at home require a network with minimal latency so that there is no disruption in their work; similarly, enterprises need to ensure that they are able to cater to the diverse stream of networks latching on to their central server. Wi-Fi 6 plays a pivotal role as its features, such as multi-user multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) and strong WPA3™ security, address the performance and security challenges faced by both organizations and their employees.

Hybrid healthcare

Healthcare’s mission is to provide care to patients effectively and efficiently. It requires an always-on network with access to online diagnostic imaging and Wi-Fi data for both patients and staff. There has been a sudden surge of video/remote consultations, which requires doctors and hospital staff to have easy access to the patient’s records and reports, while ensuring seamless connectivity so that they are able to provide uninterrupted consultation. Wi-Fi 6 provides the capability to deliver these important services.

Hybrid events and conferences

Wi-Fi data connectivity for the offline audience are some of the many requirements of hybrid events and conferences. Thousands of people are congregated at the same place, which requires an extremely strong network to handle this sudden surge in data demands. Wi-Fi 6 allows for greater capacity, efficiency, and performance, thereby helping ensure seamless telecasting of live-streamed sessions, meeting digital demands for hundreds of sponsors and offline audience.

Hybrid retail

Blurring lines between brick and mortar and direct-to-consumer shopping has been fast-tracked by the pandemic. Many innovative solutions powered by Wi-Fi 6 were introduced to keep customers engaged with brands. Technologies such as digital mirrors eliminated the need for fitting rooms, allowing customers to buy online and then pick up in stores, reducing the crowd at pay counters. This new form of retail requires retail outlets to revamp their store layouts, rejig their inventory control mechanisms and order management, and map customers’ experiences with an underlying objective of customer delight. Newer ways require seamless data connectivity and simple, easy to manage network solutions with minimal operational issues.

Wi-Fi 6 is emerging to be the hero in these opportune times.

 

1 World Economic Forum, 2020

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 info@wi-fi.org.

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Anand Kumar

HFCL Limited

Anand Kumar, the General Manager (Sales) in the communication business unit at HFCL Limited, is an astute business analyst identifying challenges and opportunities in the telecom ecosystem. His forte lies in exploring potential business avenues, spearheading the vast array of sales and marketing operations to increase the value and volume share of the HFCL IO products line in government sector.

In his extensive career spanning across 18+ years, he has worked with established brands like Nelco Limited and Reliance Communications Limited. At HFCL, he is responsible for driving the HFCL product line business in ministries, central government organizations, railways, public sector undertakings, and defense establishments. Anand holds an impeccable understanding of communication solutions and government buying processes. Further, his go-to-market and trade marketing strategies are helping to scale up brand visibility while increasing HFCL’s sales and market share.