With industry momentum mounting around Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi Alliance recently introduced Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 to ensure devices based on IEEE 802.11ax technology meet industry agreed standards for interoperability and security.
The certification program, launching in Q3 2019, will provide the capacity, coverage and performance required by users to experience next generation Wi-Fi use cases, from streaming ultra-high-definition (Ultra HD) movies to mission-critical business applications.
Advanced capabilities supported by Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 bring innovation for Wi-Fi to excel even in diverse Wi-Fi environments with many devices. Key benefits include higher data rates, increased network capacity, improved performance in congested environments, and improved power efficiency. These capabilities include:
- Uplink and downlink orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA): increases network efficiency and lowers latency for high demand environments;
- Multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO): allows more data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit to a larger number of concurrent clients at once;
- Transmit beamforming: enables higher data rates at a given range resulting in greater network capacity;
- 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM): increases throughput in Wi-Fi devices by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum; and
- Target wake time (TWT): significantly improves battery life in Wi-Fi devices, such as IoT devices.
Earlier this year, Wi-Fi Alliance introduced a new consumer friendly naming structure that provides users with an easy to understand designation for both the Wi-Fi technology supported in their device and the Wi-Fi technology available for the connection to a network. A recent poll commissioned by Wi-Fi Alliance indicated more than half of users want the latest technology in their devices, but nearly three-quarters of respondents avoid buying devices when it is too difficult to understand technical labels and descriptions. New generational terminology will help consumers more easily identify devices with the latest Wi-Fi technology and better understand if devices will deliver the expected Wi-Fi experience.
“Wi-Fi continues to be a predominant technology for accessing the internet, with a strong history of success,” said Andrew Zignani, Senior Research Analyst, ABI Research. “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will further escalate Wi-Fi’s role, with more than one billion Wi-Fi 6 chipsets expected to be shipped annually in 2022.”
Wi-Fi 6 devices will enhance the user experience in both consumer and enterprise applications and will be particularly useful in homes, smart cars, businesses, e-Learning, IoT, stadiums, public venues, and transportation hubs. It will support a range of use cases in these scenarios, including high-definition streaming, virtual reality, interactive HD and 4K video, asset tracking and sensors, and more efficient uploading and downloading capabilities.