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July 1, 2014

Wi-Fi, not cellular, to lay the foundation for the Internet of Things

The wireless technology uses unlicensed spectrum and cheaper transfer rates.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Unlicensed spectrum and cheaper transfer rates will help Wi-Fi become the dominant wireless access technology for the Internet of Things (IoT), according to research.

IoT refers to appliances enabled with sensors and assigned their own IP address that connect to the Internet – thus creating a world where devices and machines can communicate with each other, interpret information and make intelligent decisions in real-time.

In a research report by Goldman Sachs, analyst Simona Jankowski said: "We expect Wi-Fi to be the dominant wireless access technology for IoT, given that, unlike cellular, it uses unlicensed spectrum and thus does not require monthly access fees.

"Just like wired access (copper and fiber) laid the foundation for the fixed Internet, and cellular access (3G and 4G) enabled the mobile Internet, we expect Wi-Fi to be the enabler of the Internet of Things."

The report also cited a survey by VDC Research, which found that about 70% of respondents expected the IoT to use Wi-Fi.

Goldman Sachs said it expects chipmakers, such as Qualcomm, Marvell Technology, and gear makers, such as Cisco Systems and Ruckus Wireless, to benefit from the uptake

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The research comes after networking startup Neul told CBR that devices connected across GPRS and LTE networks have no future in machine to machine communications.


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