Wi-Fi Alliance Opens Wi-Fi 6 Certification

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Wi-Fi (c) marinini, Shuttersctock 2013

Wireless Internet is about to get much faster after launch of the official Wi-Fi 6 certification for routers and other hardware

The Wi-Fi Alliance has made the Wi-Fi 6 certification program available for equipment makers and manufacturers.

The announcement is important, as the specification will both increase bandwidth and enable more stable wireless connections in the years ahead.

In July the majority of European nations defeated an attempt to create a Wi-Fi-based car standard, in favour of a standard based on 5G.

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Wi-Fi 6

But despite the growing availability of 5G networks, Wi-Fi is a proven technology and is widely used globally.

“The Wi-Fi 6 certification program brings new features and capabilities that enable substantially greater overall Wi-Fi network performance in challenging environments with many connected devices such as stadiums, airports, and industrial parks,” said the Alliance.

Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax) has until now been found mostly in high-end networking equipment.

But the decision by the Wi-Fi Alliance to open the certification program, means that router and other hardware manufacturers can submit their products to be certified for Wi-Fi 6.

The new specification will apparently provide significant capacity, performance, and latency improvements to the entire Wi-Fi ecosystem.

Tales in Tech History: Wi-Fi

Indeed, Wi-Fi 6 is said to deliver nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5, and is an “evolutionary advancement for Wi-Fi’s ability to deliver high-performance infrastructure and optimised connectivity to all devices on a network simultaneously – bringing noticeable improvements in densely connected Wi-Fi environments.”

“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,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance.

“Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will deliver improvements in connectivity, including in high density locations and IoT environments,” he added.

Among the features are orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), which effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments.

There is also multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO), which allows more downlink data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit data to a larger number of devices concurrently.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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