When it comes to naming conventions in technology, some are more confusing than others. One of the more egregious offenders in recent years has been the Wi-Fi Alliance. Recent examples of Wi-Fi generations are 802.11n and 802.11ac, which make it difficult to differentiate between the versions.
However, the alliance aims to fix that with its latest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax. The new generation will be known as “Wi-Fi 6” while 802.11ac and 802.11n will be retroactively referred to as “Wi-Fi 5” and “Wi-Fi 4”, respectively.
“For nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions to determine if their devices support the latest Wi-Fi,” said Wi-Fi Alliance president and CEO Edgar Figueroa. “Wi-Fi Alliance is excited to introduce Wi-Fi 6, and present a new naming scheme to help industry and Wi-Fi users easily understand the Wi-Fi generation supported by their device or connection.”
As with previous generations, the new Wi-Fi 6 will bring faster data rates and better and more efficient performance as well as new capabilities:
- Uplink and downlink orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) increases efficiency and lowers latency for high demand environments
- 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM) enables peak gigabit speeds for emerging, bandwidth-intensive use cases
- Improved medium access control (MAC) control signaling increases throughput and capacity while reducing latency
- Increased symbol durations make outdoor network operations more robust
According to the alliance, “Wi-Fi 6 provides the foundation for a host of existing and emerging uses from streaming ultra high-definition movies at home or on the go, to mission-critical business applications requiring high bandwidth and low latency, to staying connected and productive while traversing large, congested networks in airports and train stations.”
Check out more Wi-Fi news, tips and tricks from the Rocket Yard here.