Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is now available in enterprise-class, wireless access points and supported by some of the latest laptops and mobile devices. This new standard has several exciting benefits and is easy to adopt.
While any environment, whether home or office, will have improved performance with Wi-Fi 6, high-density environments with lots of users, devices and IoT will benefit the most.
- Capacity: Notable performance improvements in dense environments like schools and offices. You can expect reduced latency and speeds of up to 4x compared to Wi-Fi 5 in dense environments. Single users will see around a 40% improvement in speed.
- IoT: Ideal for large-scale IoT environments; low latency, Targeted Wake Time, and coverage in the 2.4 GHz band
- Battery Life: Targeted Wake Time can reduce battery consumption for connected devices and IoT by as much as two thirds
- Performance: Great for applications that demand performance like voice, gaming, and UHD streaming
- Future: FCC approves 6 GHz band in April 2020. Wi-Fi 6E will bring speeds closer to the theoretical max of 9.6 GB/s. Devices will need 6GHz chipset to support that band.
Preparing for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E:
Wi-Fi 6 operates in the same 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands as its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac). Support for these bands means your new Wi-Fi 6 access points can provide the same range and ability to penetrate building materials as your previous access points. There’s no need to change their location or add more access points for coverage. The only real concern is to make sure your cabling is ready to support Wi-Fi 6 capacity.
Most manufacturers recommend Category 6A cabling to support PoE and data rates up to 10BASE-T. Although the first wave of Wi-Fi 6 products will require 2.5 or 5BASE-T, which could be supported by Category 5e or Category 6, later versions are expected to go beyond that capacity.
If you’re looking to upgrade your company’s Wi-Fi, check with your integrator to make sure your existing cabling meets your requirements.