Wi-Fi 6.0

With the new WLAN Standard Wi-Fi 6.0 (802.11ax), the data rates will increase by up to 25% and speeds of up to 10Gbit/s can be achieved. In surroundings with high traffic, Wi-Fi 6.0 delivers a stable and high throughput. Furthermore, it increase the capacity and offers all users a lower latency of up to 10ms.

Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is the successor of Wi-Fi 5 Standard 802.11.ac Wave 1 introduced in 2013 and the revised Wi-Fi 5 Standard 802.11ac Wave 2 introduced in 2016.

The new Wi-Fi 6 standard offers higher throughput compared to Wi-Fi 5. Wi-Fi 6 increases the performance in WLAN surroundings with high traffic, it is less prone to interruptions, and it ensures optimised energy efficiency of the end devices.

Even with Wi-Fi 6.0, WLAN remains a “shared medium” just like before, but the key advantage of Wi-Fi 6 is that a significantly high number of clients can communicate with the Access Point and therefore a far more reliable transfer is ensured for the real time applications.


The evolution of Wi-Fi


4x higher data throughput
As opposed to Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), this throughput is also ensured in heavy use WLAN surroundings by introducing the new technology MIMO-OFDM (Multiple Input Multiple Output – Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) and a denser modulation with 1024-QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation). With finer signal splitting, OFDM reduces delays in transfer when there are several simultaneous network accesses. In Wi-Fi 6, the number of maximum channels (streams) also increases from four to eight. Wi-Fi 6 is able to provide 37 % higher data transfer than Wi-Fi 5 and thanks to OFDM the throughput increases four times. The maximum theoretical data rates of above 10 Gbit/s are possible (with 8 streams). This is a huge leap compared to Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac Wave 2) data rates of maximum 3.4 Gbit/s (with 4 streams).

2.4 GHz band and 5 GHz band
With Wi-Fi 6, again both the frequency bands are used, the 2.4 GHz band and 5 GHz band. With Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), only the 5 GHz band is used.

OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access)
The new technology OFDMA is introduced with Wi-Fi 6 to avoid delays and ensuring a more stable WLAN connection, when several end devices simultaneously access the network. OFDMA divides the spectrum into small resource units and assigns them to different users depending on the requirement, so that different bandwidths are simultaneously delivered to the users. Therefore, the network works far more efficiently in downlink as well as in uplink direction.

8 × 8 MU-MIMO in Downlink
The uplink direction (Multiple User – Multiple Input Multiple Output): Using several antennas, data streams are transferred simultaneously to several end devices from the Access Point (AP) in downlink. By adding the new Trigger Control Frame in the Wi-Fi 6 standard, now even multiple end devices can simultaneously transfer data streams in uplink to an Access Point (AP) and that during a single receiving cycle of the AP. In Wi-Fi 5 MU-MIMO only works in downlink (from AP to the clients). Wi-Fi 6 can even process a significantly high number of data streams (up to 8 streams) simultaneously. With an 8×8 Access Point in 5-GHz range, up to eight end devices can communicate simultaneously with the Access Point. In case of the older Wi-Fi standards, from Wi-Fi 1 – to Wi-Fi 5, this was possible only with one end device.

TWT (Target Wake Time)
Stable transmission with reduced energy consumption. TWT allows the Access Point (AP) to put an end device to “sleep” for a certain period of time. After that, the end device “wakes up” again and reconnects to the Access Point (AP). The TWT function (Target Wake Time) enables an exact adjustment of how frequently devices can send and receive data. With this efficiency, the rest period of the devices is extended, improving the battery life considerably for the mobile devices, smart home devices and IoT devices.

BSS Colouring
Resolves WLAN conflicts with neighbouring WLAN signals. The overlapping channels of two neighbouring WLANs often cause WLAN network disturbances. With the help of BSS (Base Service Set) Colouring an Access Point (AP) and the connected end devices are combined to form a Basic Service Set (BSS), equipped with an additional frame. In this way, the end device can make a clear distinction on whether the communication in the channel belongs to the own Access Point (AP) or to a foreign Access Point (AP). With this setup, unnecessary delays are avoided and the WLAN disturbances from neighbouring signals nearly eliminated. Wi-Fi 6 is downward compatible with all the older Wi-Fi standards 802.11a/b/g/n/ac.

WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access Version 3)
Wi-Fi 6 uses the new standard for authentication and encryption of WLAN. WPA3 contains new functions to simplify the authentication and to ramp up the security of authentication and encryption process. For example, these functions provide more robust authentication, advanced cryptography, and individual encryption for every device.

5G vs Wi-Fi 6.0 Deployment Use Cases