Built for Speed: IEEE Standard 802.11ax


Most connected users worldwide have at some point experienced the agony and frustration of a slow wireless network. However, speeds are increasing thanks to IEEE Standard 802.11ax and its impact on business and society as we know it.

Officially certified in 2020, IEEE 802.11ax, also known as “Wi-Fi 6,” delivers throughput per user via wireless LAN (WLAN) technology that’s four times faster than the preceding Wi-Fi standard. (IEEE 802.11ac, known as “Wi-Fi 5”, was introduced in 2013.) Offering increased bandwidth, more efficient use of channels and router technology, the ability to conserve power through a proactive “Target Wake Time” feature, and updated data encryption capabilities, IEEE Standard 802.11ax is poised to significantly enhance the speed and reliability of wireless networks.

Over the last several years, wireless connections have especially suffered in high-density environments where large numbers of devices are connected to a network. The increased adoption of internet-connected devices worldwide contributes to the growth of such environments. Furthermore, advances in technology have driven more companies to modernize their wireless networks. Those trends are only expected to continue, with research firm Markets and Market Data projecting the global Wi-Fi market to rise from US$12.3 billion to US$31.3 billion in value by 2027.

High Efficiency, Reliable Wi-Fi is Critical to Industries Across the Board

In our current global Wi-Fi landscape that continues to both expand rapidly and advance technologically, the need for speed and high efficiency is more imperative than ever to industries of all kinds. Check out these examples.

According to a recent study by The International Association of Conference Centres (IACC), nearly 60% of meeting planners surveyed claimed that they wouldn’t prioritize a venue unless they had a guarantee of internet performance.

Thanks to the adoption of Wi-Fi 6, airports will no longer struggle to reconfigure their networks when travelers download content, check emails, and otherwise overload the building’s wireless network just prior to boarding their flight.

In the automotive industry, Wi-Fi 6 will more quickly and comprehensively generate telematic data on engine performance, breaking and steering systems, real-time traffic conditions, and the use of such features as surround-view cameras and roadside assistance. This will allow car manufacturers to enhance safety features and tailor service packages for drivers. Additionally, car repairs can get underway faster. Wi-Fi 6 will enable car dealers and repair shops to connect wirelessly to a vehicle’s on-board diagnostics, identify problems remotely, and prepare a repair estimate even before a customer comes into the shop. Wi-Fi 6 will also be a boon for in-car ‘infotainment,’ as it will support the real-time speed required for streaming content.

In the healthcare arena, the use of telemedicine rose precipitously during the pandemic. Many medical practitioners and patients continue to use it. At the same time, more medical devices (such as x-ray and MRI machines) are going wireless, which will place additional data demands on wireless networks. With Wi-Fi 6, healthcare facilities operating such equipment remotely will be able to transmit data with greater speed and reliability, place mission-critical equipment on a different band, and better optimize their wireless capabilities.

Manufacturing and logistics companies with Wi-Fi 6 capabilities can run diagnostics and maintenance on equipment remotely and reduce costly downtime in the manufacturing, supply chain, quality control, and distribution functions.

Additional uses are areas such as the educational and the defense industries. In both these sectors, training in “real-life” situations is often conducted in simulated settings for safety and/or cost reasons, Wi-Fi 6 can enable greater access to in-depth, real-world simulations for training purposes.

Wi-Fi 6 Expectations

The bottom line?

In an economy where the speed and quality of network connections can drive the user experience and ultimately dictate a company’s success, Wi-Fi 6 holds promise in a variety of fields. Global consultant Deloitte states that W-Fi 6 will be “indispensable to the future of enterprise connectivity” across all connected industries.

Are You Up to Speed on Wi-Fi 6?

The course program, IEEE 802.11ax: An Overview of High-Efficiency Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi 6), takes learners on the latest step in a journey of continuous innovation in wireless local area networks (LAN) standards. In it, expert instructors discuss IEEE Standard 802.11ax, the underlying technology of the latest Wi-Fi 6 products.

Unlike previous amendments (e.g., IEEE Standard 802.11ac and IEEE Standard 802.11n), which were focused mainly on increasing the peak throughput, 802.11ax focuses on achieving Higher Efficiency (HE) and improving metrics that reflect user experience, such as average throughput per station. This was achieved by better physical layer efficiency and spectrum utilization, flexible multi-access and scheduled transmission schemes, increasing the spatial reuse, and improving interference management between neighboring networks, particularly in dense environments.

This training provides an overview of the features and optimizations introduced by IEEE 802.11ax to the Physical (PHY) and Medium Access Control (MAC) layers. The first part of the program focuses on the PHY layer, and the second part focuses on the MAC layer.


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Hupfer, Susanne. Bucaille, Ariane. Mazumder, Sayantani. Westcott, Kevin. (1 December 2021). Wi-Fi 6: Unsung, Underexposed—and Indispensable to the Future of Enterprise Connectivity. Deloitte Insights.

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