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ACCORDING to recent research by networking specialist Cisco, nearly two-thirds of the global population will have internet access by 2023. That’s around 5.3 billion souls, a huge leap from the 3.9 billion that had access in 2018.

But here’s the kicker. Wireless network growth is expected to be even more explosive. Cisco reckons that there were 169 million wireless hotspots globally in 2018, but the number is set to quadruple to 628 million by 2023. That’s a whole lot of new Wi-Fi.

Of course, it’s not just humans that are bandwidth hungry. In 2018 there were around 5 billion connected devices that fell into the M2M, or machine-to-machine, connectivity category. In other words, machines talking to each other with no humans involved. In 2023, the number of connected M2M devices is expected to be a colossal 14.7 billion.

The result is a staggering, almost incomprehensible demand for wireless bandwidth. And that’s a problem. Anecdotally, anyone who lives in a town or city will be all too familiar with the scroll-inducing litany of options available any time the airwaves are sampled for a list of local wireless networks.

More empirically speaking, there are ever more devices and access

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