We believe that 2019 is going to be the year that Wi-Fi 6 – the next evolution of the omnipresent Wi-Fi – will become a must-have for businesses across the world. With the Internet of Things and the imminent launch of 5G networks driving more connectivity across the region and beyond, Wi-Fi as we know it will simply struggle to cope with the increased demands that will be placed on it. This is where Wi-Fi 6 comes into play. Here are six things you need to know about Wi-Fi 6.
- Wi-Fi 6 isn’t as new as you’d think. As a matter of fact, Wi-Fi 6 has been under development since 2014, after the High Efficiency WLAN Study Group determined a need for greater spectrum efficiency in 2013. That led to the creation of project 802.11ax in May of the following year, driven by a standard task group headed by Huawei’s Osama Aboul Magd.
- Wi-Fi 6 addresses the pain points of its predecessors. Ever struggled to get a social media post to upload while at a concert or sports event? Had difficulty downloading an email at a big work conference? Areas of high connectivity traffic experience poor Wi-Fi service, and Wi-Fi 6 is specifically designed to improve performance in dense environments. It does so by using spectrum more efficiently, managing interference, and making enhancements to protocols such as Medium Access Control (MAC).
- It wasn’t always called Wi-Fi 6. but that sure is an easier name than 802.11ax standard! The name, Wi-Fi 6, was chosen because this is the sixth generation of Wi-Fi networking technology, following on from Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n).
- Wi-Fi 6 is more than just an upgrade. While it is an evolution, Wi-Fi 6 isn’t just a performance upgrade for Wi-Fi 5 – it makes some fundamental changes to the standard that enables it to perform significantly better. Wi-Fi 6 is designed to deliver superior user experiences for application performance, support more number of users, particularly in bandwidth-intensive or latency-sensitive applications. That means fewer dropped video calls, amongst many other benefits.
- 90% of enterprises will use Wi-Fi 6 by 2023. According to a report released by Huawei during Mobile World Congress 2019, the uptake of Wi-Fi 6 will be almost complete in the corporate sector in the next four years. This will be mostly due to the increased use of technologies such as 4K/8K Ultra HD Video, virtual and augmented reality across education, enterprise, and industrial activities. Wi-Fi 6 will deliver the high-quality network, bandwidth, reliability, and low latency needed to provide an optimal experience in the IoT world.
- The first Wi-Fi 6 products are available now. Huawei launched Wi-Fi 6 products earlier this year, under its new AirEngine Wi-Fi brand. The combination of AirEngine and Wi-Fi 6 capabilities delivers the connectivity needed to drive digital transformation for enterprise services and create an optimal user experience with ultra-high performance capacity. We already can see use cases emerging of Wi-Fi 6 deployment with customers in Middle East market.