5G or Wifi 6?

The world of enterprise wireless connectivity is changing fast, 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are part of the new generation of Internet access technologies. With each their advantages, how are they different and what can we expect from their use?

Wifi and 5G are complementary

While Wi-Fi and 5G seem to be competing wireless technologies. Both are distinct networking protocols for wireless local area networking, after all. However, Wifi 6 and 5G complement one another rather than compete against one another. Here’s how: 

Complementarity of 5G and Wifi 6

5G is better suited for industrial use cases

The majority of industrial applications require a certain level of performance which can be very challenging to achieve with Wi-Fi standards currently available. Here’s how 5G compares to Wifi for industrial use cases:

5G is better suited for industrial use cases5G is better suited for industrial use cases

A comparative performance analysis

To better understand how 5G and Wifi compare, here’s a performance analysis using KPIs crucial for an optimized enterprise connectivity:

Performance AnalysisPerformance Analysis

More about each KPI

Spectrum Range
Better range (factor of 10 to 20), meaning that for the same coverage you need 10 times less access points.
Spectrum Type
Licensed = the spectrum is reserved for you, so that you have a guaranteed QoS and no interference with other services.
Data Rate MAX (theoretical)
The theoretical difference is minor.
You can guarantee the bandwidth and the latency for a specific service with 5G, while you are in best effort with Wifi.
RAN latency
5G latency is validated, while Wifi latency is purely theoretical.
Location accuracy
The gap has a direct impact on the use case supported (ie. indoor geo-fencing cannot be supported by Wifi.
Device Density
The gap prevents Wifi to support massive IOT use cases in a factory.
Network slicing
Allows to guarantee a bandwidth for critical services, it increases the QoS and to propose different QoS per service in a single Private 5G network.
Mobility Km/h
AGV use case is not well supported by Wifi as AVGs have to stop and maintain long security distances when they switch from one access point to another.
The sim card guarantees a much higher level of security.
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