The Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit organization that promotes and certifies Wi-Fi technology, has officially announced the launch of the Wi-Fi 6 certification program. Wi-Fi 6, also known as “AX Wi-Fi” or “802.11ax Wi-Fi”, is the next-generation standard in Wi-Fi technology and is an improvement on the current 802.11ac Wi-Fi standard. This initiative promises a range of new features and capabilities designed to create more efficient overall Wi-Fi network performance in challenging environments supporting multiple connected devices.
Edgar Figueroa, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Wi-Fi Alliance, said, “Wi-Fi Certified 6 is ushering in a new era of Wi-Fi, building on Wi-Fi’s core characteristics to provide better performance in every environment for users, greater network capacity for service providers to improve coverage for their customers, and new opportunities for advanced applications. Wi-Fi Certified 6 will deliver improvements in connectivity, including in high density locations and IoT environments.”
According to the announcement, Wi-Fi 6 delivers nearly four-times the capacity of its predecessor Wi-Fi 5, and is “an evolutionary advancement” to Wi-Fi’s capabilities, bringing considerable performance improvements in densely connected Wi-Fi environments. “With adoption of the latest Wi-Fi generation increasing, product vendors and service providers can trust Wi-Fi Certified will distinguish Wi-Fi 6 products and networks that meet the highest standards for security and interoperability,” said the Wi-Fi Alliance.
The advanced capabilities that Wi-Fi Certified 6 offers include uplink and downlink Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), which shares channels for increased network efficiency and lower latency, as well as multi-user, multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) technology, that allows more data to be transferred and more devices to be connected simultaneously.
Furthermore, Wi-Fi 6 contains 160 MHz channels to increase bandwidth and employs Target Wake Time (TWT) logic to significantly improve battery life in Wi-Fi devices. Transmit beamforming increases data rates at all ranges, and 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM) improves Wi-Fi device throughput by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum. In addition, Wi-Fi 6 delivers advanced security protocols and implements the latest generation of Wi-Fi security, Wi-Fi certified WPA3.
The Wi-Fi Alliance also added that Samsung’s Galaxy Note 10 is the first smartphone to be officially certified for the new standard. Apple’s recently-introduced iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro both support Wi-Fi 6, and most flagship devices will likely be Wi-Fi 6 compatible from now on.