Thanks to the coming of Wi-Fi 6, wireless speeds are about to get much faster. The current estimate is that it will be ready later this year. Experts say that Wi-Fi 6 will impact business professionals and users alike, providing connections that are faster, more reliable, and even more energy efficient than anything that came before it. However, the lingering question is: are you prepared to use it?
Wi-Fi 6 is the name that is being used for the brand new 802.11ax Wi-Fi generation. The goal is to make it easier for the average computer user or business owner to understand. Wi-Fi 6 will be the new 802.11 wireless networking standard, replacing Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), which replaced Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) in 2013. With so many years between upgrades, many users are becoming confused about what Wi-Fi 6 means and how it will affect their use. Unfortunately, with 5G wireless being added into the mix, all of these numerical names are making it even more confusing.
What Does Wi-Fi 6 Represent?
This next-generation wireless technology is the latest evolution of WLAN technology. WLAN stands for wireless local area network. According to insiders, this latest version of the 802.11 wireless networking standard is as much as 30 percent faster than the current Wi-Fi 5 version. However, it is the other advantages associated with these new Greater Boston Wi-Fi standards that have most technology experts excited. Wi-Fi 6 brings lower latency, improved power efficiency, and it also features more simultaneously deliverable data. To make all of these achievements, Wi-Fi 6 relies on improvements made to existing technology, as well as the introduction of new technology.
Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) will be included in Wi-Fi 6. This is an improvement on the existing Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) technology that is used today for Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 4 standards. The older OFDM version is used to encode and transmit data, allowing multiple access points or clients to contend for the ability to communicate that data and, once the network goes idle, the data is finally sent. Unfortunately, this process creates a serious latency effect. OFDMA puts the coordination of transmission in the hands of the 802.11ax access points, scheduling data transmission and dividing frequencies to transmit data to or from multiple clients at the same time. This drastically reduces latency and boosts efficiency.
Where Will Wi-Fi 6 Shine?
While everyone will benefit from the changes made available in this next-generation wireless technology, certain situations and industries will see even more advantages. The ability of OFDMA to benefit high-demand environments, such as stadiums, theme parks, significant events, and other highly populated public spaces will also make outdoor Wi-Fi deployments faster and more reliable. Wi-Fi 6 is expected to extend the capabilities of the multi-user multi-input and multi-output (MU-MIMO) option, which was only previously used for downstream connections to allow a device to send data to multiple receivers at the same time. However, Wi-Fi 6 will also add the ability to upstream connections with MU-MIMO as well, allowing even more simultaneous devices to be used on a single network.
Other benefits of the new Wi-Fi 6 802.11 wireless networking standard include:
- use of both 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands simultaneously, greatly boosting performance
- increase number of transmit beamforming streams to eight, improving network range and throughput
- use of 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation (1024-QAM) to increase throughput for emerging use cases, a significant improvement from Wi-Fi 5’s 256-QAM
- target wake time (TWT) options to boost battery life and reduce power consumption
- spatial reuse technology allows for more devices to access a Wi-Fi network even faster to transmit data
- Wi-Fi 6 is designed to operate in an office, conference center, home, or crowded public space, much differently than 5G technology
Will New Greater Boston Wi-Fi Standards Work With Your Technology?
The best way to find out if your network and devices are ready to take advantage of all the benefits associated with Wi-Fi 6 is to consult with one of our highly trained and experienced consultants at Synivate. While much of the older technology that works with Wi-Fi 4 and Wi-Fi 5 still exists in the Wi-Fi 6 routers, even devices that are not Wi-Fi 6 compatible will be able to use Wi-Fi 6 access points at the lower Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 4 speeds. Contact Synviate right away for a comprehensive evaluation of your existing wireless local area network system to make sure you are ready for next-generation wireless technology. Give us a call at 617-517-0704 to speak with one of our team members about your concerns.