Each time we download an application, browse the Internet, read an email or watch something on YouTube on our smartphones, we’re using some type of wireless technology. For mobile networks this means 3G or 4G LTE. However, when it comes to our home or work environment, we’re probably using Wi-Fi.
From 802.11a, endorsed in the 90s (reaching speeds of up to 54 Mbps over 5 GHz radio waves) to the current range of 802.11ac routers (up to 1.3 Gbps over a 5 GHz band and 450 Mbps over 2.4 GHz), many things have changed.
But what does the future hold?
802.11ax, also known as High Efficiency Wireless, is the next wireless communications standard in the IEEE 802.11 range.
This technology is designed to increase overall data rates, especially in high density WLAN user areas where there are multiple access deployment points in close proximity.
While 802.11ax is still in the early stages of development, it’s bringing new exciting features such as multi-antenna capacity. If 802.11ac multiplied this capability compared to 802.11n, the use of MIMO-OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) enables 802.11ax to further subdivide signals and multiply this capability by up to five times.
The implementation of this new version isn’t just an advance in speed. The 802.11ax Wi-Fi specifically addresses the problems of overcrowded Wi-Fi areas and enhances not only speed but the capacity to keep connections active despite strong interference. Performance promises to be four times better per user in scenarios such as train stations, airports and stadiums.
Moreover, as this uses Dynamic CCA, OFDMA and other advanced multi-antenna techniques, it results in an enhanced performance and system. Mechanisms to coexist with other wireless networks are needed, which operate in the same space with authorized devices. As it’s fully backwards compatible, it supports devices that still use IEEE 802.11 PHY/MAC. Lastly, but not least, is the superior battery life thanks to better energy administration.
This new technology is expected to become fully certified in 2019 and will offer the following key characteristics:
- Better traffic flow and channel access.
- With downlink and uplink through OFDM and MU-MINO, it specifically addresses multi-users.
- OFDM FFT will quadruple at the same time as achieving far less separation (up to four times) between subsystems. This delivers improved robustness and performance for multiple paths and outdoor scenarios.
- Data speed and bandwidth are similar to al 802.11ac with the exception of MCS 10 & 11 with 1024-QAM.
Teldat is permanently on the lookout for emerging WLAN technologies as not only do we manufacture access points, but all our routers are already equipped with embedded WLAN.