Wi-Fi 6 certification is here

Thursday, 19 September, 2019

Wi-Fi 6 certification is here

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification program from Wi-Fi Alliance — the worldwide network of companies that drives Wi-Fi adoption — is now available, delivering an optimised user experience for devices based on IEEE 802.11ax.

The official certification program for Wi-Fi 6 brings features and capabilities that are said to enable greater overall Wi-Fi network performance in challenging environments with many connected devices, such as stadiums, airports and industrial parks. It is designed to provide significant capacity, performance and latency improvements to the entire Wi-Fi ecosystem, while ensuring products across vendors work well together to deliver greater innovation and opportunity.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 supports a more diverse set of devices and applications, from those requiring peak performance in demanding enterprise environments to those requiring low power and low latency in smart homes or Industrial IoT scenarios. It is said to deliver nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5 and to advance Wi-Fi’s ability to deliver high-performance infrastructure and optimised connectivity to all devices on a network simultaneously — bringing improvements in densely connected Wi-Fi environments. It delivers critical connectivity that supports cellular networks and leverages high speeds, low latency, power efficiency, greater capacity and enhanced coverage to deliver many advanced 5G services.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 delivers advanced security protocols and requires the latest generation of Wi-Fi security, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3. Other capabilities include:

  • Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA): This effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments.
  • Multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO): This allows more downlink data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit data to a larger number of devices concurrently.
  • 160 MHz channels: This increases bandwidth to deliver greater performance with low latency.
  • Target wake time (TWT): This improves battery life in Wi-Fi devices, such as IoT devices.
  • 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM): This increases throughput in Wi-Fi devices by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum.
  • Transmit beamforming: This enables higher data rates at a given range resulting in greater network capacity.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 leverages Wi-Fi’s global ubiquity to more efficiently connect users in more environments, and to expand advanced use cases including augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), streaming high-definition content, real-time monitoring and mission-critical applications.

“This is the point at which Wi-Fi 6 starts to become mainstream — it’s the end of the beginning,” said Tiago Rodrigues, General Manager of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) — the not-for-profit industry body for the Wi-Fi ecosystem.

“Up until now, Wi-Fi 6 has been the domain of pioneers and pilots, including some of our members like Korea Telekom, SK Telekom, Cisco and Boingo Wireless. Those pilots and early deployments have been happening for some time, but now with the launch of Wi-Fi 6 CERTIFIED, a much larger volume of wireless operators and enterprises will be more confident investing in Wi-Fi 6 devices and infrastructure, which ultimately benefits businesses and consumers. This will likely create a virtuous circle, where hardware manufacturers and service providers will likewise become more focused on addressing the growing appetite for Wi-Fi 6.”

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 is the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 smartphone. Wi-Fi Alliance expects most leading phones and access points will soon support the latest generation of Wi-Fi.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/sdecoret

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