WBA welcomes WI-FI 6 CERTIFIED milestone

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has welcomed the official certification of Wi-Fi 6, the newest generation of Wi-Fi connectivity.

The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6™ certification program from Wi-Fi Alliance is now available and delivers the best user experience with devices based on IEEE 802.11ax. The Alliance said the certification program brings new features and capabilities that enable substantially greater overall Wi-Fi network performance in challenging environments with many connected devices such as stadiums, airports, and industrial parks. With adoption of the latest Wi-Fi generation increasing, product vendors and service providers can trust Wi-Fi CERTIFIED will distinguish Wi-Fi 6 products and networks that meet the highest standards for security and interoperability. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 provides significant capacity, performance, and latency improvements to the entire Wi-Fi ecosystem, while ensuring products across vendors to work well together to deliver greater innovation and opportunity.

WBA General Manager Tiago Rodrigues said: “This is the point at which Wi-Fi 6 starts to become mainstream - it's the end of the beginning.  Up until now, Wi-Fi 6 has been the domain of pioneers and pilots, including some of our members like Korea Telekom, SK Telekom, Cisco and Boingo Wireless. Those pilots and early deployments have been happening for some time, but now with the launch of Wi-Fi 6 CERTIFIED®, a much larger volume of wireless operators and enterprises will be more confident investing in Wi-Fi 6 devices and infrastructure, which ultimately benefits businesses and consumers.  This will likely create a virtuous circle, where hardware manufacturers and service providers will likewise become more focused on addressing the growing appetite for Wi-Fi 6.”

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 delivers advanced security protocols and requires the latest generation of Wi-Fi security, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3™. Advanced capabilities available in Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 include:

  • Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA): effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments
  • Multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO): allows more downlink data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit data to a larger number of devices concurrently
  • 160 MHz channels: increases bandwidth to deliver greater performance with low latency
  • Target wake time (TWT): significantly improves battery life in Wi-Fi devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices
  • 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM): increases throughput in Wi-Fi devices by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum
  • Transmit beamforming: enables higher data rates at a given range resulting in greater network capacity

“Wi-Fi 6 brings greater speeds and more efficiency to Wi-Fi networks, expanding its role as a critical communication platform,” said Phil Solis, research director at IDC. “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 drives a higher quality experience for all Wi-Fi’s many use cases, further propelling the Wi-Fi market and ensuring Wi-Fi maintains its strong position as the connectivity landscape evolves.”

“Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 is ushering in a new era of Wi-Fi, building on Wi-Fi’s core characteristics to provide better performance in every environment for users, greater network capacity for service providers to improve coverage for their customers, and new opportunities for advanced applications,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will deliver improvements in connectivity, including in high density locations and IoT environments.”

Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 expands on Wi-Fi’s core strengths including affordable performance, efficient operation, commitment to security, ease of use, self-deployment, and long-term compatibility, while also supporting a more reliable user experience in areas of high user demand. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 leverages Wi-Fi’s global ubiquity to more efficiently connect users in more environments, support growing data requirements, and expand advanced use cases including augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), streaming high-definition content, real-time monitoring, and mission critical applications. As more spectrum is made available for Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will only continue to drive greater global Wi-Fi innovation and economic contributions.

The Samsung Galaxy Note10 is the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 smartphone, and Wi-Fi Alliance expects most leading phones and access points will soon support the latest generation of Wi-Fi. The first products designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 which comprise the test bed for certification include:

  • Broadcom® BCM4375
  • Broadcom® BCM43698
  • Broadcom® BCM43684
  • Cypress CYW 89650 Auto-Grade Wi-Fi 6 Certified
  • Intel® Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) AX200 (for PCs)
  • Intel® Home Wi-Fi Chipset WAV600 Series (for routers and gateways)
  • Marvell 88W9064 (4x4) Wi-Fi 6 Dual-Band STA
  • Marvell 88W9064 (4x4) + 88W9068 (8x8) Wi-Fi 6 Concurrent Dual-Band AP
  • Qualcomm® Networking Pro 1200 Platform
  • Qualcomm® FastConnect 6800 Wi-Fi 6 Mobile Connectivity Subsystem
  • Ruckus R750 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point

“In terms of what happens next on the ground, we'll see service providers and likely early adopters like venues and the hospitality and retail sectors exploring their options with Wi-Fi 6.  There are still some things to watch out for and challenges to be addressed - it won't necessarily be a straight rip-and-replace of existing equipment, as there will need to be some more planning and re-configuring to tackle the opportunity optimally.  That's why we created our Wi-Fi 6 Deployment Guidelines to smooth the transition out and make the most of this huge leap in Wi-Fi capability,” said Rodrigues.

For more information on Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 please visit: https://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-certified-6

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