Everyone likes Wi-Fi, we can’t live without its pervasive connectivity, and in this day-and-age the need for the ability to work anywhere has never been greater. In the same semblance, everyone likes pizza, you can order and get delivery quickly, and it’s tasty. But how are the two related?
Allow me to the make the analogy that Wi-Fi 5 (802.11 ac), and all previous generations of Wi-Fi are the equivalent of giving every person a whole pizza pie—regardless of how hungry they are. Previous generations of Wi-Fi do the same thing, by giving only one device the entire channel for one transmission at a time. An access point could only talk to one client at a time*, even if the application has low-bandwidth requirements.
In comparison, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is the equivalent of cutting the pizza pie into slices and allowing each person to eat their nutritional requirements. In technical terms, each slice of the Wi-Fi channel is called a “OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access) Resource Unit” and these channels can be allocated more effectively to permit multiple transmissions to multiple clients at the same time.
So what does this mean for your network? It means more efficiency, less overhead and support for a greater variety of applications over Wi-Fi. For example, a low-bandwidth application like an IoT environmental sensor could be allocated its own “slice” of the Wi-Fi channel and ensure its transmissions are never held up by other bandwidth hungry applications like a bulk file transfer. In addition, demanding applications like virtual reality, augmented reality, voice and video can be assured real-time transmission by reducing latency and jitter to levels previous generations of Wi-Fi could only dream of.
How can you employ this technology for your business? Deploy and enjoy!
By using Cisco’s Wi-Fi 6 certified Access Points, you can future proof your network for the oncoming wave of Wi-Fi 6 devices that are currently available. Both Cisco Catalyst 9100 series Access Points (9115, 9120 and 9130) and Cisco Meraki Access Points (MR36, MR46 and MR56) are ready for deployment today. Going above and beyond the standard, Cisco Catalyst 9120 and 9130 Access Points employ an RF ASIC to handle interference, and the 9130 model features a tri-radio mode providing flexibility in deployment scenarios.
On the client-side, Apple, Intel and Samsung are just a few of the major names integrating Wi-Fi 6 as the connectivity standard in their devices.
Back to the pizza analogy – do your users need a whole pizza pie, or just a slice to get their job done? By upgrading to Wi-Fi 6, you can divide up the wireless channel more efficiently and support a wide array of applications on the same infrastructure. Wi-Fi 6 is no longer just a “pie in the sky” technology—it’s fully baked now.
Find out more information on Cisco Catalyst Wi-Fi 6 Access Points,
For more information on Cisco Meraki Wi-Fi 6 Access Points
* While Wi-Fi 5—specifically 802.11ac Wave 2—allowed for Multi-User MIMO, this feature was limited to a maximum of four clients and was not widely implemented on the client-side.