Wi-Fi 6 Standard Delivers 700Mbps Download, Says WBA

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Need for speed? Wireless Broadband Alliance carries out challenging wireless test (across a factory floor) of the Wi-Fi 6 standard

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has carried out a test of the Wi-Fi 6 standard, and it is good news for speed and reliability.

The test was carried out in the challenging factory floor of the Mettis Aerospace facility in the UK West Midlands.

It comes after the the Wi-Fi Alliance in September made the Wi-Fi 6 certification program available for equipment makers and manufacturers.

Stable connections

That announcement was important, as the new Wi-Fi specification increases bandwidth and enables more stable wireless connections in the years ahead.

But the question most people are seeking is what type of speeds will the new standard deliver?

“The trial was the first of its kind in the world and an important part of the WBA’s Wi-Fi 6 test and development program,” announced the WBA.

It said that tests included applications of 4K video streaming, large scale file transfers, messaging and voice/video communications as well as the first stage of IoT sensor and mixed reality testing.

It said that previous implementation tests with Wi-Fi failed to work in Mettis’ challenging factory environment.

And the speed achieved in these testing environments? Well, the trial saw speeds of 700 Mbps using 80 MHz channels, and low latency applications (i.e., video calling and video streaming, performed well with results below 6ms).

“These results proved that Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure can operate well in the presence of interference and noise in a complex and challenging factory environment as well as deliver high quality services for monitoring and maximizing machinery performance, minimizing downtime, and improving communications on the factory floor,” said the WBA.

Tales in Tech History: Wi-Fi

“The completion of this initial phase marks a significant milestone for the adoption of Wi-Fi 6,” said WBA CEO, Tiago Rodrigues. “The Mettis facility is an especially challenging environment for wireless communications with furnaces, presses and heat, a lot of moving heavy machinery and the presence of dust and in-air particulates.”

High-end spec

“Nevertheless, the field tests in this highly charged atmosphere have proven that Wi-Fi 6 technology works well and can play a vital role within the industrial enterprise and IoT ecosystem,” said Rodrigues. “If Wi-Fi 6 can deliver highly reliable, high quality and high bandwidth communications in this type of factory environment, then it can deliver it almost anywhere.”

This hopefully should mean that Wi-Fi connectivity is improved in less challenging office and home environments in the years ahead.

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

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

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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