The changing dynamics of a warehouse are driving changes in the technology needs of the warehouse – inside and outside.
As per Ericsson’s article in 2019, there were 4,000 robotic warehouses in operation worldwide. And latest research predicts four million commercial robots to be at work in 50,000 warehouses across the globe by 2025. That’s a 12-fold increase in the span of just six years. 
This data points to the need for strong connectivity within the warehouse, and this brings us to the biggest debate of all -
Is Wi-Fi 6 or 5G needed?
Why connectivity matters in a warehouse
The big advantages of better connectivity in a warehouse are
Reduced labor costs
Reduced labor cost can be achieved by automating warehouse operations all the way from usage of AGV, ASRS to any other mechanism and effectively controlling them using a better-connected warehouse.
A good interconnected warehouse improves the productivity of the warehouse from 15-30% easily as speed of operations improve drastically, and fault reduction and tolerance is brought down to bare minimum.
Every object inside a warehouse can be tracked for its location, rack and row, thereby ensuring better visibility. Continuous tracking and tracing is the best way to speed up the picking, order processing and order filling processes.
Communication among operators, workers and managers can be effectively managed and enhanced with Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality, and dashboards that provide real-time accurate information. This allows warehouse operators to do the right things at the right time.
When a warehouse is interconnected, route improvement and pickup optimization can be achieved with extreme accuracy. From the arrival of a truck at the receiving dock, to the departure of the truck from the shipping dock, every spot will be optimized.
Wi-Fi 6 vs 5G: The big debate
Both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 offer high reliability, low latency and quality of experience, but they are for different use cases. Figure 1 gives an indication of the areas where 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will play critical roles. A warehouse is all of these areas put together and it has a massive IoT need with so many devices to be connected. The size of a warehouse can vary from few hundred meters to kilometers based on the size and scale. We all know 5G will operate from 30 GHz to 300 GHz, so what is then the hindrance to bringing 5G into a warehouse?