Wi-Fi 6, which is faster and more efficient that its predecessor, has has been officially launched.
Other improvements include: longer-range, and greater security, as well as better management of multiple devices connected to a single Wi-Fi router or hotspot. This latter feature is of particular benefit to enterprise networks.
According to the announcement:
"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."
"Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 devices meet the highest standards for security and interoperability, and enable lower battery consumption, making it a solid choice for any environment, including the Internet of Things (IoT)."
With the advantages, Wi-Fi 6 should provide the foundation to host emerging uses of internet, from streaming ultra high-definition movies, and other mission-critical apps that require high bandwidth and low latency.
"The ubiquity of Wi-Fi and its ability to complement other wireless technologies helps bring the promise of connecting everyone and everything, everywhere, closer to reality," wrote the announcement, and here, "Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 delivers improvements and new features that enable Wi-Fi devices to operate efficiently in the most dense and dynamic connectivity settings."
Key capabilities include:
- Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA)
- Multi-user multiple input, and multiple output (multi-user MIMO).
- 160 MHz channel utilization.
- Target wake time (TWT).
- 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM).
- Transmit beamforming.
Previously, Wi-Fi technology have different names, identified by a letter or a pair of letters that referred to a wireless standard. For example, there is the 802.11n which predates 802.11ac..
This makes Wi-Fi names difficult to remember, making consumers having a hard time to grapple with the unintuitive namings to work out whether a device supported the latest Wi-Fi standard.
In 2018, the Wi-Fi Alliance finally recognized that this was all too confusing, so it decided to rename the consumer-facing name:
Here are their names:
- 802.11b (1999) → Wi-Fi 1.
- 802.11a (1999) → Wi-Fi 2.
- 802.11g (2003) → Wi-Fi 3.
- 802.11n (2009) → Wi-Fi 4.
- 802.11ac (2014) → Wi-Fi 5.
- 802.11ax (2019) → Wi-Fi 6.
And following with the official announcement of Wi-Fi 6, manufacturers can have their compatible devices certified to use the “Wi-Fi 6 Certified” label.