It’s that time of year again. Time for every media outlet, analyst firm, technology pundit and prognosticator to make predictions about the year ahead.


Just to commemorate a change in the calendar year? So be it.

Ruckus don’t want to be left out of the prediction parade, so they asked several Ruckus technology experts to share their perspective for the wireless industry in 2016 and beyond:

What’s your number one prediction for the wireless industry in 2016?

Greg Beach (Vice President of Product Management): We’ll see an insurgence of MU-MIMO capable clients and resulting capacity benefits in high client density environments.

Sundar Sankaran (Chief Wireless Architect): New business models will evolve to monetize “free” Wi-Fi.

Dave Wright (Advanced Technologist): I’ll give you two for the price of one. First, I predict that web-scale content companies (social media, search, hosted services, etc.) will launch some very-large-scale Public Access Wi-Fi projects in developing markets. Second, I expect we’ll see an acquisition or merger between a Tier 1 MSO and a Tier 1 MNO.

How will the “wireless experience” change in the next 2-3 years?

Greg: The end-user experience related to accessing Wi-Fi hotspots and BYOD-enabled enterprise networks will be easier and more secure through the use of Hotspot 2.0 and certificate-based device onboarding solutions.

Sundar: Whole home coverage will become a reality, and people will “show off” their home network at dinner parties using a smartphone app.

Dave: Hotspot 2.0 will become the de facto standard for public access and hospitality Wi-Fi. Now that we have Hotspot 2.0 support in all major mobile and laptop operating systems, Hotspot 2.0 deployments will accelerate by service providers and hotel brands. Carrier Wi-Fi calling will be one driver for this.

Where do you expect to see the most technology innovation in the next 2-3 years?

Greg: The biggest innovation will be Wi-Fi + cellular cross-pollination and convergence (802.11ax, LAA, LWA). Other possibilities include:

  • Mainstream use of analytics to drive user experience, business process optimization and monetization;
  • Cloud interconnections and service chaining of networking services to seamlessly tie together best-of-breed technologies;
  • Secure, manageable and scalable IoT platforms that leverage multiple sensor types and wireless protocols to provide business intelligence for enterprises and cities; and
  • Continued virtualisation of networking services to enable service providers to more efficiently scale and more quickly roll out new services.
  • Sundar: We’ll see Wi-Fi spectral efficiency and network capacity improvements through multi-user techniques such as MU-MIMO and OFDMA, along with clever scheduling schemes that steer Wi-Fi away from CSMA/CA.

    Dave: Many of the traditional distinctions in the wireless industry will be “blurred” due to technology, regulatory and business advances. Blurring will happen between: licensed and unlicensed; service provider and enterprise; and, public versus private. Specific advances that will affect these include: unlicensed LTE, 802.11ax, Wi-Fi calling, enterprise IMS and WebRTC, CBRS, private LTE and Hotspot 2.0.

    That’s it for now. Ruckus will share more insights, ideas and perspective on these trends via the Ruckus Room over the next year. And we can predict with confidence that we’ll be back next December with a new slate of predictions.

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