At the Wi-Fi Innovation Summit held recently in San Mateo, CA, much was made of the lessons learned by Wi-Fi experts over the last ten years. Wi-Fi, when it became ubiquitous in the early 2000s, was designed for laptops. Today, however, people are using smartphones and tablets, and using these smaller, more mobile devices to stream video, mainly thanks to Netflix. Developments like this have left Wi-Fi with a lingering reputation of poor service and mobility experiences.
A major part of Wi-Fi’s problem lies in the challenge of competing business interests. As Rob Cerbone, VP of wireless product management at TWC, notes, “It’s unfortunate that if I have a customer and they’re a T-Mobile customer and they’re a Time Warner Cable customer, we should be able to figure out how to make those two things work together seamlessly, so the customer doesn’t have to go figure all that out and provision it on their own.” The Wi-Fi industry must continue to overcome these problems if it expects to thrive in the coming years.