Industry Thought Leadership

Six Things You Need to Know About Wi-Fi 6

October, 2019
Faisal Ameer Malik
Chief Technology Officer - Enterprise Business Group

Huawei Middle East

We believe that 2019 is going to be the year that Wi-Fi 6 – the next evolution of the omnipresent Wi-Fi – will become a must-have for businesses across the world. With the Internet of Things and the imminent launch of 5G networks driving more connectivity across the region and beyond, Wi-Fi as we know it will simply struggle to cope with the increased demands that will be placed on it. This is where Wi-Fi 6 comes into play. Here are six things you need to know about Wi-Fi 6.

  1. Wi-Fi 6 isn’t as new as you’d think. As a matter of fact, Wi-Fi 6 has been under development since 2014, after the High Efficiency WLAN Study Group determined a need for greater spectrum efficiency in 2013. That led to the creation of project 802.11ax in May of the following year, driven by a standard task group headed by Huawei’s Osama Aboul Magd.
  2. Wi-Fi 6 addresses the pain points of its predecessors. Ever struggled to get a social media post to upload while at a concert or sports event? Had difficulty downloading an email at a big work conference? Areas of high connectivity traffic experience poor Wi-Fi service, and Wi-Fi 6 is specifically designed to improve performance in dense environments. It does so by using spectrum more efficiently, managing interference, and making enhancements to protocols such as Medium Access Control (MAC).
  3. It wasn’t always called Wi-Fi 6… but that sure is an easier name than 802.11ax standard! The name, Wi-Fi 6, was chosen because this is the sixth generation of Wi-Fi networking technology, following on from Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n).
  4. Wi-Fi 6 is more than just an upgrade. While it is an evolution, Wi-Fi 6 isn’t just a performance upgrade for Wi-Fi 5 – it makes some fundamental changes to the standard that enables it to perform significantly better. Wi-Fi 6 is designed to deliver superior user experiences for application performance, support more number of users, particularly in bandwidth-intensive or latency-sensitive applications. That means fewer dropped video calls, amongst many other benefits.
  5. 90% of enterprises will use Wi-Fi 6 by 2023. According to a report released by Huawei during Mobile World Congress 2019, the uptake of Wi-Fi 6 will be almost complete in the corporate sector in the next four years. This will be mostly due to the increased use of technologies such as 4K/8K Ultra HD Video, virtual and augmented reality across education, enterprise, and industrial activities. Wi-Fi 6 will deliver the high-quality network, bandwidth, reliability, and low latency needed to provide an optimal experience in the IoT world.
  6. The first Wi-Fi 6 products are available now. Huawei launched Wi-Fi 6 products earlier this year, under its new AirEngine Wi-Fi brand. The combination of AirEngine and Wi-Fi 6 capabilities delivers the connectivity needed to drive digital transformation for enterprise services and create an optimal user experience with ultra-high performance capacity. We already can see use cases emerging of Wi-Fi 6 deployment with customers in Middle East market.