Wi-Fi 6 has finally been launched, and it has some promises to fulfill. The Wi-Fi Alliance, a group of tech companies that provide technology for Wi-Fi or Wireless Fidelity, announced today that Wi-Fi Certified 6, a new industry standard for Wi-Fi technologies, was built with the focus on improving the connectivity in locations where many people are connecting to the same network.
The Wi-Fi Alliance said that their focus on the sixth generation of the wireless technology would allow users to connect to the Wi-Fi in huge buildings like stadiums and sports arenas without compromising the speed of the internet.
“Emphasizing quality connectivity in locations with hundreds or thousands of connected devices such as stadiums and other public venues, as well as corporate networks utilizing time-sensitive, high bandwidth applications, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 networks ensure each connected device performs at an optimum level,” the organization said in a press release.
Furthermore, the new Wi-Fi was said to be more optimized for security and interoperability. It would also be battery-sensitive and was developed to save the user more battery life while connecting to the Wi-Fi. The organization said that their new generation of wireless connection technology was designed to be the best option for users to connect their Internet of Things (IoT) devices to the internet.
The motivation behind the design of Wi-Fi 6 is for the technology to adapt to the “demanding environment” in today’s technology. The organization said that the new Wi-Fi would provide a foundation for a “host of current and emerging uses from streaming ultra-high-definition movies, to mission-critical business applications requiring high bandwidth and low latency, to staying connected and productive while traversing large, congested networks in airports and train stations.”
In order to fulfill these promises, the Wi-Fi 6 is equipped with Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA). The OFDMA would share channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in venues where many people are connecting to the Wi-Fi. It simply means that the new Wi-Fi will be able to cater more people connecting to it without sacrificing the quality of the internet they receive from the connection.
Also, the Multi-user multiple inputs, multiple outputs (multi-user MIMO) features would allow more downlink data to be transferred in one processing. This would enable access points (APs) to connect more devices at a time simultaneously. This, coupled with 160 MHz channel utilization capability that increases the bandwidth without increasing the latency, was said to make sure that more devices can be connected and higher demands would be accommodated.
The new Wi-Fi also has a Target wake time (TWT) feature, which improves performance and lengthens the battery life of the connected devices, including IoT. Other features include 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM) which “increases throughput for emerging, bandwidth-intensive uses by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum,” and transmit beamforming which “enables higher data rates at a given range to increase network capacity.”
The Wi-Fi Alliance’s goal for the Wi-Fi Certified 6 is for the technology to be ready for the future of technology and to adapt to cutting-edge breakthroughs of today. They said that it prepares the users to maximize the potential of virtual and augmented reality used in e-Learning, telepresence, and healthcare.
“Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 also provides carriers and public Wi-Fi operators with more capabilities to support advanced connectivity in retail, stadiums, and transportation hubs, including a growing array of location-based applications and services,” the organization added.
Coincidentally, the sixth generation of Wi-Fi comes days prior to the expected availability of the iPhone 11 in the United States. As of today, manufacturers can have compatible devices certified to use the “Wi-Fi 6 Certified” label. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro/Max will qualify.