Wi-Fi turned 20 in 2019 which for all intents and purposes, makes it a full-fledged adult. With all of the hullabaloo around its newest release, Wi-Fi 6, you may be wondering where along the way you missed Wi-Fi’s 1 through 5. Don’t worry, you didn’t.
Just as we were getting used to the 802.11 naming convention that the IEEE bestowed upon the world two decades ago, the Wi-Fi Alliance swooped in to simplify what industry insiders know as the new 802.11ax, to the more consumer-friendly moniker: Wi-Fi 6. A move borrowed from the cellular industry’s terming of technologies like 4G and 5G.
That’s 50 wireless connected devices, per household. As our homes become permeated with the latest cell phones, tablets, and AI-driven smart appliances, each connected sensor will latch onto our LAN, testing its speed, security, performance, and endurance. As history has shown us, growing consumer reliance on wireless devices inevitably spills over into the workforce, Wi-Fi 6, also called High-Efficiency Wireless (HEW), is estimated to be four times faster than Wi-Fi 5. Let’s unpack that promise and discuss what this really means for you and your business.
As any next generation of technology is released, faster speed is typically the first factor people look for to compare it against its predecessors. While it will be faster—9.6 Gbps compared to 3.5 Gbps—there is more to the Wi-Fi 6 story than speed. Other benefits include:
Fact: Cisco’s 9130 Series access point has been the first in its line to become Wi-Fi 6 Certified.
“Best-effort wireless for enterprise customers doesn’t cut it any more. There’s been a change in customer expectations that there will be an uninterrupted unplugged experience. It is now a wireless-first world.” –Scott Harrell, SVP and general manager of enterprise networking, Cisco
Wi-Fi 6 presents business leaders with an opportunity to reimagine business as usual. What can be enhanced, or even transformed, with a stronger, faster, smarter connectivity solution in play? We advise reflecting on the following questions:
Only after identifying your current and desired states can you determine how to best bridge the gap. At R2, an assessment is always the first step. Whether it’s a site survey to analyze the RF environment and provide a new hardware design, or a risk security analysis which holds up your wireless environment against your security policy requirements—you must first start with the business case and then drive back to the right technology solution.