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Wifi 6 White Papers

Cisco and Wi-Fi Alliance White Papers on WI-FI 6 (IEEE 802.11 ax)

Wi-Fi® is the world’s most popular wireless technology, supporting more users and devices, and carrying more traffic than all other wireless technologies. Today, nearly all mobile devices and most indoor environments have Wi-Fi connectivity. The adoption of Wi-Fi is quickly expanding to innovative electronic devices, Internet of Things (IoT), augmented and virtual reality, smart cities and vehicles.

Two white papers have recently been published by Cisco and Wi-Fi Alliance on Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11 ax standard) being the future of connectivity. Both papers expand on the key benefits of Wi-Fi 6:

  • Higher data rates
  • Increase in overall network capacity
  • Improved performance in dense and congested environments
  • Improved power efficiency
  • Unlicensed spectrum operation
  • Ease of use
  • Backward compatibility with traditional access points and 802.11 a/n/ac

The Cisco white paper provides a technology overview of Wi-Fi 6, its feature set, and explains why Wi-Fi 6 is fast, robust, and deterministic through improved resource allocation and device scheduling mechanisms. The paper also presents the first Wi-Fi 6 performance test results:

  • Wi-Fi 6 outperforms Wi-Fi5 with more than a 60% increase in range in low data rates, reaching past 250 feet from the AP.
  • In Wi-Fi 6, the relative throughput will be 2-3 times higher with four or more devices connected to an AP in the uplink direction. In the downlink direction, there is a 10% to 40% increase in throughput.

The Wi-Fi Alliance less technical white paper explores the broad range of next generation connectivity scenarios. The paper describes advanced use cases supported by Wi-Fi 6 such as augmented reality, virtual reality, Ultra high-definition video, Internet of Things, multiparty gaming and other immersive scenarios. The paper expands on Wi-Fi 6 key inherent strengths: reliability, security, interoperability whilst delivering greater capacity, faster speeds and lower latency. These strengths will allow Wi-Fi 6 to address many important and next generation use cases. The paper also describes Wi-Fi’s complementary role with 5G, and explains the economic and societal benefits of Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi Alliance says Wi-Fi 6 will be complimentary to 5G and will carry the bulk of the world’s data traffic as 5G is deployed. Finally, the paper discusses significant spectrum efficiency gains of Wi-Fi 6 and its ability to share spectrum with other technologies in unlicensed bands.

The two papers can be found here:

CISCO white paper: IEEE 802.11ax: The Sixth Generation of WI-FI

Wi-Fi Alliance White paper: Next generation Wi-Fi: The future of connectivity

Further reading:

Cisco & Wi-Fi Alliance White Papers: The future of connectivity is here
by Claus Hetting, December 29, 2018