Wi-Fi Alliance Certifies Wi-Fi 6

Said to deliver four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5.
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AUSTIN, Texas—Wi-Fi 6 has been given the seal of approval from the Wi-Fi Alliance, as the organization has officially announced the availability of the Wi-Fi Certified 6 program. The certification program is designed to bring new features and capabilities for greater overall Wi-Fi network performance in different environments.

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According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, Wi-Fi Certified 6 delivers almost four times as much capacity as Wi-Fi 5 and increases Wi-Fi’s ability to deliver high-performance infrastructure and optimized connectivity to an entire network’s devices simultaneously. It is also said to deliver connectivity that supports cellular networks and leverages high speeds, low latency, power efficiency, greater capacity and enhanced coverage to deliver advanced 5G services.

Other features of the Wi-Fi Certified 6 program include

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

Areas that the Wi-Fi Alliance pinpoint that Wi-Fi Certified 6 will be able to boost performance are augmented and virtual reality, streaming hi-def 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 for the Wireless Broadband Alliance. “Up until now, Wi-Fi 6 has been the domain of pioneers and pilots, including some of our members like Korea Telecom, SK Telecom, 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.

The WBA has created its own Wi-Fi 6 Deployment Guidelines to assist anyone looking to make the transition.