What to expect from Wi-Fi 6 in 2019 | Virtual Reality

Wi-Fi 6 – aka 802.11ax – will begin to make its way into new installations in 2019, bringing with it a host of technological upgrades aimed at simplifying wireless-network problems.

The first and most notable feature of the standard is that it’s designed to operate in today’s increasingly congested radio environments. It supports multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO) technology, meaning that a given access point can handle traffic from up to eight users at the same time and at the same speed. Previous-generation APs still divide their attention and bandwidth among simultaneous users.

Better still is orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), a technology borrowed from the licensed, carrier-driven half of the wireless world. What this does is subdivide each of the available independent channels available on a given AP by a further factor of four, meaning even less slowdown for APs servicing up to a couple dozen clients at the same time.

Put simply, beyond being faster than earlier versions of Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6 is going to be better able to handle the fast-growing client density present in modern IT. Whether it’s increasingly connected office , with smart TVs and multiple clients per employee, or the IoT, with connected devices of every description, Wi-Fi 6 is well-suited to meeting those demands.

The current state of play

Wi-Fi 6 access points are already on the market. Aerohive got there first, but the other major vendors were close behind. Aerohive’s initial entries are the AP630 and the tri-band AP650 and AP650X – the latter boasts extra antennae for greater effective range. Those retail for about $1,200 and $1,400, respectively. However, D-Link, Asus, and TP-Link have also brought Wi-Fi 6 APs to market already, and the major enterprise vendors like Cisco and Aruba are almost certainly targeting 2019 to start selling their devices.

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