The Ins and Outs of Wi-Fi 6

Amidst the dramatic changes brought on by Covid-19, more than one million businesses in North America have transitioned to primarily working online. Moreover, this shift has brought a significant increase in internet and Wi-Fi usage globally.  That is why we thought we would take the time to discuss Wi-Fi 6, the newest update from the Wi-Fi alliance, and why, especially during this time, it could be beneficial to businesses. 

What is Wi-Fi 6? 

Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, is the latest version of the Wi-Fi standard. It has been accessible since Sep 2019 and offers a whole range of updates to its predecessor Wi-Fi 5. These advancements include a 30-40% increase in speeds, more efficient battery power, and a larger connection range. The largest selling point, however, is its elimination of lag in congested areas (stadiums, businesses, etc.). Whereas previous Wi-Fi versions used OFDM (Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing), which can only transmit data to recipients one at a time, Wi-Fi 6 utilizes OFDMA (Orthogonal frequency-division access), which can transmit data to multiple users simultaneously. Wi-Fi 6 also allows various types of traffic (e.g., high bandwidth video, interactive voice and low bandwidth IoT) to be bundled together for more efficient communication.  Especially now that businesses are transitioning online and there is a high user traffic, Wi-Fi 6 provides immense benefits. 

Wi-Fi 6 also becomes an enabler for other technological opportunities. The “last-mile” continues to be a challenge in low density areas where it is very expensive to run fibre.  Paired with 5G, Wi-Fi 6 is an excellent option for those hard-to-reach locations. High-quality, last-mile internet connections become more plausible. Using Wi-Fi 6 in this situation will bring the power of the low-latency, high-speed 5G network immediately to the user’s computers and other devices. Also, Wi-Fi 6 enables the productivity focused, next generation workplaces. These workplaces will be filled with sensors detecting everything from how many people are actively using conference rooms to possibly detecting health and wellbeing of employees or customers. 

When will Wi-Fi 6 be Widely Available in Canada? 

Certification for Wi-Fi 6 devices has been possible since the Fall of 2019.  There are an increasing number of Wi-Fi 6 routers available from renowned enterprise vendors such as Cisco. Some compatible devices include the newest iPhone 11 or Galaxy S10, which are sold by many Canadian Wireless Providers. 

Although it will likely be a couple of years before Wi-Fi 6 is fully deployed, now is the time to begin planning.  The Joule Group is well positioned to help you on that journey.     

Broadcom 6 Chip Image (link)

How can The Joule Group Help? 

The Joule Group can assist you and your business in all the steps of upgrading to Wi-Fi 6 including planning, design and deployment.

We start with an assessment of your business objectives and goals. This includes how employees will use the workplace in this new era and how customers will engage in person with the business. If preferred, we can easily meet remotely to evaluate your company’s needs.

As well, your individualized plan will also include a roadmap on both your current and future investments. You may consider augmenting or enhancing your legacy network now while you wait for the next generation Wi-Fi to be more readily available. 

If you have any questions, about our services or Wi-Fi 6 in general, do not hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to help. Make sure to stay safe.