Thanks to protocol enhancements, which provide better scheduling and negotiation of ‘taking turns to talk’, Wi-Fi 6 will allow more devices to ‘talk’, and be understood, at the same time. This results in greater communication efficiency and better end-user experiences!

What’s the big deal with Wi-Fi 6? (Shot on a Samsung Galaxy S10 with Wi-Fi 6!)

Did you catch our Wired for Wireless launch? If not, you can check out the recording of the broadcast, along with details of the new Cisco Catalyst and Meraki Wi-Fi 6 access points!

At Cisco Live Melbourne, we geared up for the launch of our Wi-Fi 6 products by showcasing the latest developments in the Cisco Catalyst and Meraki switching platforms, the Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controller, and deploying and managing your networks with Cisco DNA Center and programmability in the DevNet workshops.

Cisco Live Melbourne 2019

Wi-Fi 6 is here! So, now what? With the Samsung Galaxy S10 being pretty much the only available consumer device, it is still early days for Wi-Fi 6 adoption. We expect to see more Wi-Fi 6 devices being released later in 2019, along with the Wi-Fi Alliance Wi-Fi 6 certification process kicking off.

#CiscoChat LIVE! DevNet Down Under – Wi-Fi 6

How do I know Wi-Fi 6 is working?

The first indication that you’re on a Wi-Fi 6 wireless network is the number 6 designation on your Wi-Fi icon on your client device.

Wi-Fi 6 Symbol on Samsung Galaxy S10

If you’re a wireless network administrator with access to an Apple MacBook and you haven’t discovered Adrian Granados’s awesome Wi-Fi tools, such as Wi-Fi Explorer, I strongly suggest you try them out! Adrian’s tools will allow you to capture wireless frames and also gain quick insights to your, and neighboring, wireless network configuration. And yes, Wi-Fi Explorer already supports Wi-Fi 6!

Wi-Fi Explorer Displaying 802.11ax/Wi-Fi 6 Capabilities

Our friends over at Ekahau also already have support for Wi-Fi 6, in their Ekahau Pro wireless design and site survey software, with numerous Wi-Fi 6 access points in the library and Wi-Fi 6 capabilities being captured in surveys by the Ekahau Sidekick.

Or, perhaps you want to verify HE (High Efficiency, the name of the IEEE 802.11ax specification) capabilities of your Cisco Catalyst access points after having provisioned them using YangExplorer and NETCONF on your 9800 WLC? You can use the following RPC:

<rpc message-id="101" xmlns="urn:ietf:params:xml:ns:netconf:base:1.0">
<access-point-oper-data xmlns="http://cisco.com/ns/yang/Cisco-IOS-XE-wireless-access-point-oper">
YANG Explorer displaying HE/802.11ax capabilities of a 5 GHz radio

Just because 802.11ax/Wi-Fi 6 brings exciting new features to wireless, it doesn’t mean design and deployment best practices can be overlooked. You still need to design for your clients and your applications, and you still need to ensure the rest of your network is setup to support a good user experience end-to-end. This includes checking your switching infrastructure is up to the task with PoE requirements, though our Catalyst 9100 access points can operate on PoE with reduced radios, and ensuring your managed applications adhere to correct Quality of Service (QoS) markings through the networking and on your devices. QoS will play an even bigger role in Wi-Fi 6 for determining transmission scheduling and resource allocations to provide an optimal end user experience.

Where can you learn more about our great mobility solutions?

At Cisco Live San Diego of course! The DevNet team will be in San Diego ready to help you on the journey to unlocking the real power of your networks. If you haven’t joined up to the community yet, do so here and keep an eye out for the team in DevNet t-shirts! The DevNet team also launched a new Wireless Dev Center to help you better understand what is possible with developing applications for Wi-Fi 6.

Cisco Champions and Cisco team members at Cisco Live Melbourne 2019

You can schedule your sessions now and be sure to get in early so you don’t miss out – as sessions fill up fast! Check out the mobility sessions in the scheduler here and don’t forget to check out other sessions around Cisco SD-Access, Cisco DNA Center, and DevNet sessions and workshops around programmability and automation!

I will be co-presenting the ‘Enterprise WLAN Deployment – TECEWN-2002’ technical seminar where we will discuss what’s new with Wi-Fi 6 and showcase our new Cisco Catalyst and Meraki wireless solutions.

I look forward to seeing you there and engaging in some great discussions around Wi-Fi. And, don’t let all the numbers fool you – this is not just an evolution of Wi-Fi, it’s a revolution!


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Stephen Cooper

Mobility Architect & Guest Blogger

Enterprise Networking