Streaming video over the Internet accounts for 82% of all Internet traffic. The 2020s will bring widespread use of IOT devices in every home and enterprise and more personal devices. Covid 19 increased that rate, as we are seeing today. Additionally, 8k video will become commonplace and streaming media bitrates will rise again. Wi-Fi 6 is the next standard to meet the growing capacity. Continue reading to find out when to update to Wi-Fi 6 without 802.11ax devices.
The 802.11ac standard introduced in 2013 builds on several successful technologies from 802.11n. 802.11ac allows wider channel bonding up to a practical limit of 80 MHz, airtime fairness and standardized beam-forming. Also, 802.11ac wave 2 technology introduced multi-user MIMO (DL MU-MIMO) capability to help bridge the gap between the access point capability and the client device capability. Access points are physically larger, support more antennas, are plugged into the AC mains for continuous power, and include high-performance CPUs and DRAM. Client devices are designed for great cameras and screens but do not have the CPU processing power to use multiple streams and do not have space for optimal antenna design. Thus, MU-MIMO allows the access point to transmit concurrently to more than one client at a time. In 802.11ac, MU-MIMO is limited to downstream packet only, thus it is often written as DL MU-MIMO.
Whereas 802.11ac made the network faster, 802.11ax is designed for higher channel efficiency in a dense networking environment. The key technology behind 802.11ax, multiple access OFDMA, comes from the 3GPP LTE cellular technology and 802.16e WiMax. OFDMA, orthogonal frequency division multiple access, is a field-proven technology to support higher density wireless networks. 802.11ax anticipates higher density in several ways; scheduled transmission time, dynamic frequency allocation in 2 MHz increments, spatial reuse and improved battery management mechanisms.
When to Upgrade the Network to Wi-Fi 6
The new Wi-Fi 6 access points improve performance and efficiency beyond 802.11ac networks even without the use of 802.11ax devices. By upgrading now, businesses can deliver more simultaneous video streams, and support more concurrent users and devices than before. If your particular application is requiring a large amount of devices to be online concurently, streaming, downloading and requiring minimal downtime…then it should be considered to move to 802.11ax. Contact GNS WIRELESS today for a free consultation.