Epic love and war stories between Licensed and Unlicensed technologies are not new, it seems to have existed forever in technology era. The most talked about tale has been between Wi-Fi and Cellular, recently these two have locked horn many times and have even hugged each other many times.
Wi-Fi has always been faster to adapt the technological evolution and has always been considered to be technology meant for indoors but with its faster adaptation and no spectrum cost it found space and business cases in outdoors as well. Giants such as Google, Comcast, Biggest operators started deploying and leveraging Wi-Fi Offload/ traffic sharing model. Soon the insecurity factor came to the cellular world with popularity and ease of deployment of Wi-Fi.
Few new characters entered into the storyline namely LTE-U/LAA (not going on details but a lot is available online to differentiate). These were equipped with better and advanced armour such as similar to LTE they had better interference mitigation, scheduling etc. The cellular fell in love with the whole new character. Wi-Fi felt left out, even though it was stated the technologies will co-exist but it wasn’t going be easy for neutral and friendly Wi-Fi.
On the other side another new character born from the House of Qualcomm named as Mutlifire, independent and having best features of LTE (cellular and Wi-Fi). The technology seems promising but still trying to pick up traction.
Wi-Fi on the other hand had plans to go with ease of deployment, technological advancement and add-on features have tasted success outdoors and as opponent of cellular. Google Railtel, Facebook Wi-Fi, Comcast are example of the same. Wi-Fi betrayed was all hooked up to take it to the next level. Apart from its roadmap of 802.11ac Wave 1 and Wave, it knew it has to do something big to even enter to the battle ground with Multifire, LTE-U/LAA and others.
A new Gladiator is born 802.11ax. Equipped with better scheduler, interference mitigation, IOT, Power saving management and planned to work well with high density environment. The gladiator is so furious and charged up it not only have capability to lock horns against LTE-U/LAA and Mulitfire but can destroy the 802.11ac wave2 deployments.
So in this fight club, the fighters are equally equipped and it would be interesting to see who prevails. We cannot rule out the possibility of old lovers coming together again but it would be very interesting to see how 802.11ax comes up and shake the floor.