Here we take a quick look at the latest 802.11 standard and what it means for testing.
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is the next generation wireless LAN standard. Previous versions of 802.11 have been all about speed, but the new 802.11ax is different. Wi-Fi 6 is about efficiency and speed as well as providing that speed to multiple users at the same time.
Why the need for a new Wi-Fi standard?
The Wi-Fi spectrum is very crowded and previous standards weren’t designed for dense networks with multiple users. 802.11ax puts Wi-Fi into the same league as cellular 4G (LTE) enabling 2x higher throughput and 10x higher data capacity.
So will we notice any difference?
For the Wi-Fi user at home in the suburbs probably not. But in densely packed urban areas and buildings (airports, stadiums etc) users can expect a noticeable improvement in performance.
How does 802.11ax achieve these improvements?
Efficiency is being increased through the introduction of the Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA) digital modulation scheme for uplink and downlink, which is already used in 4G and 5G cellular networks.
Previous Wi-Fi technology was based on one-on-one device-to-access point (AP) conversations but Wi-Fi 6 changes that to multi-user simultaneous support through the use of OFDMA
So what does this mean for Wi-Fi testing?
802.11ax introduces a great deal of complexity, bringing up some new challenges. More complex standards means more complex testing, with the potential of slowing down throughput and increasing costs for manufacturers.
We’ll discuss these challenges in greater detail in a forthcoming blog, as well as going through how to solve them.
MCS Test are the approved UK partner for LitePoint
Content source: https://www.litepoint.com/8021...