Wi-Fi 6 becomes official; set to capture 5G opportunity

WiFi 6

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) today announced that Wi-Fi 6, the newest generation of Wi-Fi connectivity has achieved official certification.

WBA general manager, Tiago Rodrigues, said, “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.”

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, Rodrigues added.

As the next phase, service providers and likely early adopters like venues and the hospitality and retail sectors will explore their options with Wi-Fi 6, WBA expects.

However, the deployment won’t necessarily be a straight rip-and-replace of existing equipment, as there will need to be some more planning and re-configuring to tackle the opportunity optimally.

WBA has also created Wi-Fi 6 Deployment Guidelines to smooth the transition out and make the most of this huge leap in Wi-Fi capability.

Wi-Fi Alliance is offering the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification program and delivers the best user experience with devices based on IEEE 802.11ax.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 provides significant capacity, performance, and latency improvements to the entire Wi-Fi ecosystem, while ensuring products across vendors to work well together to deliver greater innovation and opportunity, WBA said.

It 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.

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 delivers nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5. 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.

The technology delivers advanced security protocols and requires the latest generation of Wi-Fi security, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3.

Some of the advanced capabilities of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 include orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO), 160 MHz channels, Target wake time (TWT), 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM) and transmit beamforming.

“Wi-Fi 6 brings greater speeds and more efficiency to Wi-Fi networks, expanding its role as a critical communication platform,” said Phil Solis, research director at IDC. “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 drives a higher quality experience for all Wi-Fi’s many use cases, further propelling the Wi-Fi market and ensuring Wi-Fi maintains its strong position as the connectivity landscape evolves.”

Ruckus Networks, now part of CommScope, is one of the first to announce Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 products. The R750 802.11ax indoor Wi-Fi access point (AP) for ultra-dense client environments is now Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 and is suitable for ultra-dense client environments such as stadiums, hotels, convention centers and schools.