Will 5G replace Wi-Fi for the healthcare industry?

New e-book compares the two technologies

by Michael J. Brophy, Principal Solutions Architect, AT&T Business

Wireless connectivity is evolving. The dawn of 5G promises to transform how we access and deliver information via mobile devices and provide faster speeds and lower latency for greater numbers of users.

But that’s not the only innovation on the horizon. Familiar services such as Wi-Fi are getting refreshed and will reinforce the next generation of mobile devices to improve the way we work and play. When combined, the two wireless protocols will change how industries deliver services and interact with customers. That includes healthcare, where better performing wireless connectivity can increase efficiencies and potentially alter patient health outcomes.

In our new e-book, “Will 5G replace Wi-Fi?,” we consider how 5G and Wi-Fi 6 improve upon previous iterations. 5G draws on a range of technologies to deliver a more robust and capable wireless service, including the following:

  • New spectrum options, including millimeter spectrums delivering speeds in the gigabit range.
  • Support for Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) for increased speed and capacity.
  • Distributed Flexible Architecture to achieve greater radio network densification for higher data rates.
  • Flexible Frame Design for support of low-bandwidth Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
  • Multi-Connectivity to allow simultaneous use of both 5G and LTE technologies for improved coverage.

The e-book also covers features that help Wi-Fi 6 to deliver more than just higher data rates, including:

  • Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), which enables more simultaneous users to operate on the same channel.
  • Target wake time, which allows devices to negotiate when and how often they “wake up” to send or receive data to improve battery life.
  • Transmit beamforming, which improves signal power and offers higher rates.
  • 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode, a highly developed modulation scheme that transmits data over radio frequencies.

But the main focus of the e-book is exploring how the two technologies will supplement each other rather than compete. 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will work side-by-side to complement the other’s strong suits, providing a more productive mobile environment that can aid healthcare systems and practitioners to work more efficiently and accurately. While 5G is an especially good wide-area technology working across cities and rural areas, Wi-Fi flourishes in local settings such as offices, campuses, and business venues, including hospitals.

Download the "Will 5G replace Wi-Fi" eBook now.