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The past 12 months have seen the robust roll-out of technologies supporting the Wi-Fi 6 standard and it is estimated that nearly two billion Wi-Fi 6-compatible devices will enter the market in 2022.
With demand growing, and to address future market needs and support more high-performance scenarios, the Wi-Fi Alliance, the wireless industry trade organisation that exists to promote wireless technologies and interoperability, has announced Wi-Fi 6 Release 2.
With users frequently uploading work documents and videos to social media sites over wireless internet, the alliance predicts the trend towards greater uplink data consumption will further increase as more internet-connected devices send data via Wi-Fi to the cloud.
Announcing the new standard – Wi-Fi Certified 6 Release 2 – the Wi-Fi Alliance pointed to a number of key enhancements. These include supporting more upstream activity, power management improvements, and multi-user multiple input, multiple output (MU-MIMO) upgrades.
The Wi-Fi 6 standard adds support for uplink MU-MIMO to deliver smoother streaming services and video conferencing, faster uploads and more reliable gaming. The alliance is confident the added functionality will improve network performance and reduce latency while video conferencing, uploading documents and any other mission-critical applications that require greater uplink capacity.
Wi-Fi Certified 6 Release 2 is designed to deliver “comprehensive” MU-MIMO implementation to deliver strong Wi-Fi performance, even in challenging environments with many Wi-Fi devices.
Three power management features are designed to improve power efficiency, benefiting enterprise, industrial and internet of things (IoT) applications. New features apply across all bands supported by Wi-Fi 6 – 2.4GHz, 5GHz and 6GHz – bringing capacity, efficiency, coverage and performance benefits to residential, enterprise and large public networks.
Wi-Fi 6 is also said to deliver the best experience with advanced applications while providing WPA3 security and promoting interoperability between Wi-Fi-certified devices. Low power and sleep mode enhancements – including broadcast target wake time (TWT), extended sleep time and dynamic multi-user spatial multiplexing power save (SMPS) – have been added to enable power optimisation of multiple battery-powered devices. This allows multiple devices to receive extended sleep periods, allow for specific “wake-up” times for transmitting data, and enable dynamic shut-off of redundant receive chains to optimise power consumption in Wi-Fi Certified 6 Release 2 networks.
Assessing the ramifications of the upgrade, IDC industry analyst research director Phil Solis said: “Wi-Fi 6 adoption has outpaced previous Wi-Fi generations, driven by demand for better Wi-Fi connectivity in phones, tablets, PCs and access points to support high-performance, low-latency uses in both residential and enterprise environments.
“Technological advancements continue to bring speed and efficiency benefits to a wide number of users and use cases, most importantly in areas with high densities of users or client devices connecting and transferring large amounts of data. Reduction in chipset costs and advancements in Wi-Fi 6 power management will also help shift the IoT space to more broadly adopt Wi-Fi 6 in the coming years.”
Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of the Wi-Fi Alliance, added: “Wi-Fi delivers advanced capabilities that have driven tremendous global innovation, paving the way for massive growth in Wi-Fi applications that users rely on every day. Wi-Fi Certified 6 Release 2 furthers Wi-Fi’s evolution to address today’s market needs, and supports more high-performance Wi-Fi scenarios with greater capacity, efficiency and reliability.”
Read more about Wi-Fi 6
- NASCAR is to use cloud-driven Wi-Fi 6 net to offer high-efficiency, high-capacity networking to power experiences such as mobile ticketing, mobile concessions and mobile sports betting.
- As a result of the pandemic, a new hybrid work environment has emerged, and enterprises are looking to adopt new technologies – Wi-Fi 6 included – to manage it.
- Survey of service providers and technology suppliers reveals next-generation wireless communications standards will flourish over the course of the next year with Wi-Fi 6/6E deployment set to be diffuse by 2022.