After hearing an NPR piece yesterday including a discussion of 5G with a Verizon executive, it dawned on me that Apple's bailing from the WiFi router market may be due to a perception that all current WiFi hardware, mesh and otherwise, will be legacy hardware (at best) when 5G becomes widespread in a few years. The first 5G products to be rolled out, supposedly, are not phones but hotspots, which will provide very high bandwidth in-home or in-business connections. Ethernet- or fiber/cable-connected WiFi may be a fading memory five or six years from now.
Usually cellular "Hotspots" use WiFi to make a miniature LAN, which is then connected to a single IP number on the device. Or are you suggesting that 5G architecture will somehow obviate the need for a LAN altogether, with every single device directly attached to the carrier and getting DHCP'd an IP address directly by the carrier, like a cell phone?Good point, but fiber is still going to be the backbone, because the high frequencies that offer the broadest bandwidth don't travel reliably over long distances. The big question is how far the fiber will go and how aware users will be of its presence.
That seems impractical for a large range of reasons; let's start with setting up company file servers and printers. WiFi, whether in a "hotspot" or a Mesh system or some other system, will be here a little longer; 5G may cut some wired carriers out of the loop, but it changes nothing for LAN administration in the home and office.
With respect to fiber.... what do you think connects all those 5G towers they'll be rolling out? Now is a great time to invest in fiber and cell tower companies, but I digress...