By the end of next year, you should find it increasingly easy to make wireless calls over carrier-grade WiFi hotspots.

Not only are T-Mobile, Sprint and now AT&T all rolling out their own WiFi calling services, but finding fast, reliable WiFi hospots to use the services should be also be easier.

More than half of wireless operators have plans to deploy carrier-grade WiFi and 80 percent also plan deployments of in the areas of Internet of things and machine to machine communication. So says the annual report on the state of the WiFi ecosystem by The Wireless Broadband Alliance.

This year’s survey highlighted that, as confidence grows in Carrier-grade Wi-Fi, the shift away from Best Effort networks will continue to gather speed. At current growth the report estimates that Carrier-grade hotspots will outnumber best effort in the installed base by the end of 2017, and by 2020 only a small legacy base of best effort hotspots will remain – less than 10 percent of the total – with all new deployments being Carrier-grade or better.

Such findings indicate how rapidly the Wi-Fi services landscape is changing, driven by the new business imperatives which are the baseline for further innovation and deployments.

“Increased Operator confidence in Carrier grade Wi-Fi technology has led to a surge in the growth of deployments over the past 12 months and set a trend that will to continue. Within 5 years there will be as much as a 70 percenat rise in the number of Carrier-grade public Wi-Fi hotspots deployed, vastly outnumbering current best effort,” said Shrikant Shenwai, CEO of the WBA, in a statement.

“These shifts mean that the themes of the WBA’s Vision 2020 are equally applicable to all the ecosystem’s stakeholders; Accelerating development of relevant technologies to keep pace with the rapidly changing landscape, Diversifying in time with the changing face of the Wi-Fi ecosystem, and Increasing investment in development, testing and deployments to continue the push towards Wi-Fi ubiquity, unlicensed wireless, IoT, 5G and beyond.”

By 2019, companies will be harnessing WiFi to generate incremental revenues, says the report. The biggest opportunities are seen in smart cities, WiFi First, and multiplay bundles including everywhere access to content and apps.

To download the full report please go to: