Innovating new experiences

Irvind Ghai, VP Product Management at Qualcomm, shares his insights into current trends what the future may hold in store.

“Settling in on a recent flight following a business trip, I couldn’t help looking around the plane and noticing everyone around me was immersed in a device of one kind or another, many of them connected. Things have certainly changed.

Less than 10 years ago, smartphones were few and far between, and you best keep them stowed on an airplane or draw the ire of the flight attendants!

While we’ve all participated in this technology revolution, it certainly hasn’t been limited to the world of smartphones. Make no mistake, we are in the midst of a similar technology revolution that is transforming almost every aspect of life inside and outside our homes.

For a while now, most of us have had routers (aka gateways) in our homes that connected us to the internet, and by extension, the outside world. Early (or maybe current?) wireless routers were simple because our needs were simple, Wi-Fi connectivity to provide passable coverage and that’s about it – same story for public space networks at airports, shopping malls, stadiums, and hotels.

While occasional connection issues or on-screen buffering may have, at first, seemed for customers a reasonable tradeoff for wireless connectivity, those days are long gone – for two primary reasons.

First, many consumers have or will soon simply upgrade to new technology like 802.11ac – and like those lucky folks a few rows ahead of me, once you go first class, it’s pretty hard to go back!

Secondly, in the years since we first went wireless, the simplicity and intuitiveness of smartphones, tablets, and modern computing devices has set a new bar for UI/UX that’s higher than what’s generally experienced by consumers with networking products.

So what’s the bottom line?

We all need to recognize consumer demand trends and behavior patterns both inside and out of the home are forever changed – six, eight, twelve devices, spread to the distant corners of the home or yard, and in heavy use simultaneously with live streaming or gaming experiences.

There’s growing complexity like never before as networks in home and public spaces are increasingly expected to manage multiple connectivity standards, divergent ecosystem protocols of the IoT, convergence of licensed and unlicensed bands, and more.

Equally important, however, is to realize that what consumers really need is a network that just works. Wireless isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity… like electricity.

So our job as an industry is clear – accelerate the technologies, differentiated features, and capabilities that unlock the full potential of a network that just works.

This innovation path includes a number of technology transitions already under way – many homes have gone from megabit wireless to multi-gigabit; technologies like 802.11ac and MU-MIMO are increasing wireless capacity within homes several fold.

802.11ad has the ability to push data capacity even higher, unlock novel use cases such as replacing HDMI and Ethernet cables, and offer wireless docking, backhaul, and data storage applications in enterprise/outdoor and retail networking environments. Intelligence and context in the router allows networks to organize, manage, heal, and distribute bandwidth.

Innovations on the horizon will blend the functionality of the router and IoT Hub, and as 802.11ax approaches, cellular-like capabilities and innovative new consumer experiences are in sight.”

Irvind Ghai will be speaking at next month’s Broadband World Forum on Gateway Capabilities Define Broadband Experiences.

Qualcomm will be on hand to talk about these trends, the connectivity technologies and features, and how we all can work together to make the next technology revolution just work. Register for your free visitor pass here and take part in the event


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