802.11ac technology – effectively the current generation
802.11ac is a standard for Wi-Fi wireless networking more advanced than the previous generation 802.11n standard. 802.11ac represents the 5th generation of Wi-Fi technology. 802.11ac offers theoretical data rates of up to 1Gbps. 802.11ac operates in the 5GHz signal range
802.11ax technology – the new generation of Wi-Fi
WiFi 6 is the next generation of WiFi standard, which is also meant to do pretty much the same basic thing — connect devices with the Internet. While speed is an obvious parameter of improvement in WiFi 6, the new standard is not just about better speeds. The WiFi Alliance has included several other features including enhanced security, better battery consumption, lower latency, and increased efficiency and range.
WiFi 6 is also expected to work better in congested areas such as stadiums, public gatherings, and other crowded areas. Thanks to these new features, it is also going to be a solid choice for use cases such as IoT, smart homes, and wireless network-based setups.
The following are major features of Wi-Fi 6:
1. Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA)
This feature enables your router and devices to use your bandwidth more efficiently by reducing the time between data transmissions. As a result, allowing for a higher density of simultaneous users.
- OFDMA increase efficiency
- OFDMA reduces latency
- Ideal for low-bandwidth applications
Figure: OFDMA in WiFi 6 allows multiple user with different traffic profiles to transmit simultaneously over the same channel
2. High-bandwidth traffic efficiency with Multi-User-Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MU-MIMO)
This technology enables your router to communicate with many devices simultaneously.
- MU-MIMO increase capacity
- MU-MIMO results in higher speeds per user
- Ideal for high-bandwidth applications
3. Extended battery for mobile and smart home devices with Target Wake Time (TWT)
Target Wakeup Time (TWT) is another important resource scheduling feature supported by 11ax.TWT makes communication between your devices and your router’s Wi-Fi channels more efficient. Devices that support TWT enter a sleep state until their scheduled wake time. TWT reduces energy consumption and bandwidth use.
4. Improvements in data speeds and signal encoding
Wi-Fi 6 enables devices to send more data in one transmission, resulting in speed improvements of up to 20%.
Improvements through higher modulation (1024-QAM)
Higher modulation increases the efficiency and speed of data transmission on your network. This technology can give up to 25% improvements in speed. Together, features provide up to 40% improvement in connection speeds.
5. Basic Service Set Coloring (BSS color)
A feature called basic service set (BSS) coloring, which deals with co-channel interference.
- To increase capacity in a dense environment, we need to increase frequency reuse between BSS’s
- BSS coloring was a mechanism introduced in 802.11ah to assign a different “ color” per BSS, which will be extended to 11ax
- New channel access behavior will be assigned based on the color detected
Currently, we saw in the market that SparkLAN has the 11ax (WiFi 6) solution coming soon.