Before we bring you the exciting features of Wi-Fi 6 let us brief you about the technology of

Wi-Fi. It is an intensively used technology in the world of wireless internet connection which is supported by radio waves that promise high-speed communication.

When was WiFi invented?

WiFi was invented and first released for consumers in 1997 when a committee called 802.11 was created. This lead to the creation of IEEE802.11, which refers to a set of standards that define communication for wireless local area networks (WLANs). Following this, a basic specification for WiFi was established, allowing two megabytes per second of data transfer wirelessly between devices. This sparked development in prototype equipment (routers) to comply with IEEE802.11, and in 1999, WiFi was introduced for home use.

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The world’s first wifi technology on display at the National Museum of Australia

WiFi Frequencies.

WiFi uses electromagnetic waves to communicate data that run at two main frequencies: 2.4Ghz (802.11b) and 5Ghz (802.11a). For many years, 2.4Ghz was a popular choice for WiFi users, as it worked with most mainstream devices and was less expensive than 11a Wi-Fi Trademark

WiFi Alliance is a non-profit organization that promotes WiFi technology and certifies WiFi products for conformity to certain standards of interoperability. While the WiFi Alliance owns the WiFi trademark, manufacturers may use the trademark to brand certified products that have been tested for interoperability.

Wi-Fi Generations

The WiFi Alliance introduced a new generational naming system. The new naming system identifies WiFi generations by a numerical sequence which correspond to major advancements in WiFi. The generation names can be used by product vendors to identify the latest WiFi technology a device supports, by OS vendors to identify the generation of WiFi connection between a device and network, and by service providers to identify the capabilities of a WiFi network to their customers.

Below are the IEEE 802.11 PHY to corresponding WiFi Alliance generation names.

  • WiFi 4 = 802.11n
  • WiFi 5 = 802.11ac
  • WiFi 6 = 802.11ax

Generation names for older technology weren’t part of the marketing program but by following the same pattern, one can assume the corresponding generational numbers would be something like below.

  • WiFi 0 = 802.11
  • WiFi 1 = 802.11b
  • WiFi 2 = 802.11a
  • WiFi 3 = 802.11g

What is Wi-Fi 6?

Just like the mobile internet is upgraded from 4G to 5G, similarly, Wi-Fi 6 is the latest version of faster and more robust Wi-Fi being placed in all new communication devices.

Wi-Fi 6, better known as 802.11ax, is the next-generation connectivity solution for Wi-Fi routers. All of us were eagerly waiting for its launch in the year 2019. It uses the same technology as the older Wi-Fi i.e. connecting to the web except that it provides greater speed and stable connectivity across the devices connected to it.

How fast is Wi-Fi 6?

  • Speed:

Do you know that the download speed of Wi-Fi 6 is 1000% faster than what was the speed of download Wi-Fi used previously in the USA? Unbelievable right?!

Wi-Fi 6 will provide an increase of speed up to 25 to 30 % as compared to the previous Wi-Fi version. Reports say the speed may go up to 9 Gbps, but that speed will not go to an individual device. When multiple devices are connected it will help to boost the speed for each of the devices.

  • Performance:

It performs better in heavily crowded places like airports or games stadium where there are innumerable devices are connected to the same Wi-Fi.

Wi-Fi 6 eliminates the problem of slow speed faced by old routers when a high number of devices were connected to it.

Not only in public places, but it can be helpful in the home also if multiple users are using the same router.

Earlier when many devices were connected to the Wi-Fi, the speed of each device used to significantly become slower and slower with the addition of the next device. Wi-Fi 6 helps in eliminating this issue by introducing the key to this technology.

To conclude, we are lucky to have such technology which makes communication faster at our fingertips. It is going to be an extensively used wi-fi once all mobile devices get this access to the inbuilt version of Wi-Fi 6.

Who made Wi-Fi 6, anyway? 

Wi-Fi 6 was developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest association of technical professionals. Along with a lot of other functions (its stated mission is “to advance technology for the benefit of humanity”), the IEEE is the keeper of Wi-Fi, with committees responsible for developing it and establishing industry standards. 

How do I get Wi-Fi 6?

You cant get Wi-Fi 6 with tweaking or flashing any firmware. The Wi-Fi chip is hardware that comes built-in with your laptop, phone’s motherboard. So basically, you will need a new device. Currently, only Apple’s New iPhone 11series and Both Samsung galaxy S and Note 10 come with Wi-Fi band 802.11ax which is Wi-Fi 6. 

What makes Wi-Fi 6 faster?

 Two key technologies are speeding up Wi-Fi 6 connections: MU-MIMO and OFDMA.

 MU-MIMO, which stands for “multi-user, multiple inputs, multiple outputs,” is already in use in modern routers and devices, but Wi-Fi 6 upgrades it.

 The technology allows a router to speak with multiple devices at an equivalent time, instead of broadcasting to at least one device, then subsequent, and therefore the next. Right now, MU-MIMO allows routers to speak with four devices at a time. Wi-Fi 6 will allow devices to speak with up to eight.

The other new technology, OFDMA, which stands for “orthogonal frequency division multiple access,” allows one transmission to deliver data to multiple devices directly.

An example of how OFDMA works is when two phones send data over the same phone line. A time-interval may be assigned to each phone, and they will take turns sending their signal over the line at each assigned interval. However, these time frames are imperceptibly small, making the data transfer seem to happen simultaneously and seamlessly.

OFDMA is an updated version of frequency-division multiplexing (FDM) technology used to divide packets of information into separate bands that are carried by separate signals. This form of communication is an upgrade that parallels the switch of internet carriers to Wi-Fi 6 wireless, as well as the upgrade of phone carriers to 4G and 5G LTE. Instead of the traditional analog modulation used in multiplexing, OFDMA uses carrier signal waves, called subcarriers, to move small bits of information in a more streamlined fashion.

Wi-Fi 6 is likely to become even more common this year and we will see a wide range of wireless devices such as a phone, TV, laptops withy built-in Wi-Fi 6 support. 

Biplab Das
mobomotion.tech@gmail.com
My name is Biplab Das. I’m a writer, Blogger, Youtuber and full time IT support engineer whose childhood obsession with science fiction never quite faded. A quarter-century later, the technology that I coveted as a kid is woven into the fabric of everyday life. I’ve spent the past years to learn these technologies, I recently published a book on computer science fundamentals. People say smartphones are boring these days, but I think everyone is beginning to take this wonderful technology marvel for granted.

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