Wi-Fi 6 - The Now of Networking

Wi-Fi 6 Quick Facts

6th Gen
802.11ax is the 6th generation of Wi-Fi, and will be known simply as “Wi-Fi 6”
4x Capacity
The new standard will have quadruple the capacity for more devices than 802.11ac
IoT Optimized
Wi-Fi 6 supports flexible channel sizes and resource units that allow operators to offer more efficient IoT support

Wi-Fi 6 – The Smart Choice

  • Comprehensive guide to Wi-Fi 6 technologies and benefits including OFDMA, BSS Coloring, and MU-MIMO
  • Real-world design and deployment considerations
  • Why high efficiency is the game changer over high capacity

What is Wi-Fi 6?

The new generation of Wi-Fi technology, Wi-Fi 6, offers a paradigm shift at the network edge: not just faster speeds as in previous generation changes, but a shift to high-efficiency Wi-Fi for substantially improved capacity, better coverage and reduced network congestion, using key technologies such OFDMA and Uplink and Downlink MU-MIMO

Why is Wi-Fi 6 important to your network?

Wi-Fi network usage continues to grow therefore capacity must grow too. Wi-Fi 6 ensures that high demand networks can cope with the onslaught of corporate, guest, BYOD, and IoT devices that flood every organization today. With increased emphasis on network efficiency over capacity, Wi-Fi 6 is protecting bandwidth through traffic optimization and prioritization, instead of simply throwing more capacity at the problem, which let’s face it, the more bandwidth you put out there, the more that will be consumed so a different thinking is needed. Wi-Fi 6 takes a much more intelligent approach to the sustainability and longevity of your mobility infrastructure.

How does Wi-Fi 6 compare?

 802.11n (Wi-Fi 4802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5)802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6)
Frequency bands2.4 GHz and 5 GHz5 GHz only2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, 6 GHz
Channel size (MHz)20, 4020, 40, 80, 80 + 80, and 16020, 40, 80, 80 + 80, and 160
Frequency multiplexingOFDMOFDMOFDM and OFDMA
MU-MIMON/ADLDL and UL
OFDMAN/AN/ADL and UL
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How does Wi-Fi 6 improve my network performance?

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) focuses on core technologies to enhance network performance and efficiency including:

OFDMA

Multi-user version of OFDM enabling concurrent AP communication (Uplink/Downlink) with multiple clients by assigning subsets of subcarriers, called Resource Units (RUs) to the individual clients. Based on client traffic needs, the AP can allocate the whole channel to only one user or may partition it to serve multiple users simultaneously.

OBSS (BSS coloring)

To improve spatial reuse efficiency and performance, 11ax adjusts the carrier sense operation based on the ‘color’ of the BSS. Depending on the BSS the traffic is generated from, the station can use different sensitivity thresholds to transmit or defer. This results in higher overall performance.

MU-MIMO UL/DL

Introduced in 11ac, MU-MIMO technology allows the simultaneous transmitting of multiple frames to different receivers at the same time on the same channel using multiple RF streams to provide greater efficiency. 11ax adds 8x8 and Uplink MU-MIMO services to provide significantly higher data throughput.

Power Saving with TWT

TWT allows the AP to schedule a series of times for a station to ‘wake up’ at scheduled intervals to exchange data frames. This allows the station to ‘sleep’ longer and reduces energy consumption. It’s a key capability for IOT devices.

1024 – QAM modulation

Modulation techniques are used to optimize throughput and range. The number of points in the modulation constellation determines the number of bits conveyed with each symbol. 802.11ac uses 256 QAM which transfers 8 bits/symbol. 802.11ax supports 1024 QAM, using 10 bits/symbol for a 25% increase in throughput.

New Frame Formats

Modified frame formats provide High Efficiency (HE) and legacy information to support new advanced capabilities as well as information required to support legacy stations and backward compatibility.

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