A lot of industry folks like to send around their predictions for the new year in December. But really, the most interesting events are always unpredictable — take Covid, for example. Or who would have predicted that the Federal Aviation Administration would wait until the absolute last minute to claim C-band spectrum was unsafe for aviation?


The topic has become hot since the FCC decided to open 1,200 megahertz of 6 GHz spectrum for unlicensed use. Traditionally in the U.S., Wi-Fi has operated in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands. The opening up of the 6 GHz band is coinciding with the 6th generation of the Wi-Fi standard.

One topic that undoubtedly will be important for the Wi-Fi community in 2022 is automated frequency coordination (AFC). As part of the FCC’s order to open the 6 GHz band, the agency also called for an AFC system to manage the spectrum and prevent interference.

Some groups, such as the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) and the Wireless Broadband Alliance, are working on open AFC software. But there will be proprietary AFC systems as well.

The FCC set a deadline of November 30 for interested parties to submit a proposal to become an AFC system operator. At least 14 companies applied, including Amdocs, Broadcom, Comsearch – a CommScope company, Federated Wireless, Google, Key Bridge Wireless, Kyrio (a subsidiary of CableLabs), Nokia, Plume, RED Technologies, Sony, Qualcomm, the Wi-Fi Alliance, and the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA).

Several of the names are familiar because they are already Spectrum Access System (SAS) administrators that handle frequency coordination among three tiers of users for the shared Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band.


One likely point of discussion will be 5G fixed wireless access (FWA).

In the U.S. both T-Mobile and Verizon have jumped on the FWA bandwagon, realizing that they can steal market share from cable companies by using extra capacity from their LTE and 5G networks.

“A lot of our customers on home broadband are coming in suburban and even urban areas from cable, which is fascinating,” T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert said during a recent investor conference. “It’s not all just greenfield stuff where nobody has ever had an option before.”

The topic is guaranteed to become even hotter in 2022. Maybe AT&T will even announce an FWA offering.


In December 2022, we’ll be looking at the next mobile technology — 6G.

It’s a bit premature to know exactly what will be discussed a year from now. Some people say it’s a bit premature for the industry to be thinking about 6G.

But an industry group that includes AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Facebook, Qualcomm, Charter Communications, Nokia, Ericsson, Google and Samsung has already created the Next G Alliance with the goal of advancing U.S. leadership in 6G.

Private wireless

The whole topic has only gotten hotter. Case in point: Amazon Web Services (AWS) made a big splash at its AWS re:Invent show in November, announcing its AWS Private 5G offering.

It seems like we’re on a path where every company of any significant size in the U.S. will eventually want a private wireless network. And the technology is also being used by municipalities to help close the digital divide.

At our Private Wireless Networks Summit in May, we’ll likely talk about all the latest technologies being used to set up these networks as well as how they work in conjunction with public mobile networks and Wi-Fi networks. We’ll also discuss the competitive landscape in the world of private wireless.

Open RAN

The initiators of Open RAN conceived the technology to crack open the telecom landscape and break the grip that Huawei, Ericsson and Nokia hold on the RAN market. And open RAN has begun to succeed in doing that.

Recently, the analysts at Dell’Oro Group raised their open RAN revenue forecast by 50%, citing strong momentum behind the technology in the first half of 2021.

The analysts previously predicted cumulative open RAN revenue from 2020 to 2025 would hit as much as $10 billion. It now believes the figure could soar as high as $15 billion, with open RAN revenues accounting for more than 10% of the overall RAN market by 2025.

The topic is scorching hot with many new vendors entering the ecosystem, and greenfield (and brownfield) operators introducing open RAN technology, or at the very least studying it closely.


No one really has a crystal ball to read the future. Will the Metaverse happen: and we won’t know when we’re living in the real world versus the virtual world? Let’s hope not.

Will my tiny investment in cryptocurrency make me a rich lady in 2022? Fingers crossed!

Will people in telecom be able to travel to in-person events again? Here’s hoping.

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