Wi-Fi is about to change how we do business forever – especially with the emergence of Wi-Fi 6. The internet is getting faster, demand is getting greater, and bandwidth consumption is only set to rise. The next generation of Wi-Fi, known as Wi-Fi 6, will do more than simply ramp up speeds; it will deliver a future-facing design that will survive the Digital Transformation we expect in coming years.
What is it?
The next generation of Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6, will do what its predecessors did – connect people to the internet. However, it will do with improved efficiency and speed and has been designed to meet the needs of modern business and Digital Transformation. WiFi6 started arriving this year, and many new devices are already equipped to make the most of the new service.
For comparison, the top speed of Wi-Fi 5 currently sits at 3.5Gbps, while WiFi6 will be capable of 9.6Gpbs. It is important to note that while speed is the big talking point of WiFi6, it isn’t why the service is significant for modern business. Instead, WiFi6 focuses on improving networks when multiple devices are connected. Users won’t hit these maximums on their own – with single users generally using only 72Mbps, a meagre 1% of the maximum speeds offered. However, the 9.6Gpbs is designed to go to more than a single device and is capable of being split across entire networks, delivering more speed and efficiency for more devices.
Wi-Fi 6 is faster because of MU-MIMO (multi-user, multiple input, multiple output) connections, which are already in use in modern routers and devices but which get a significant upgrade with Wi-Fi 6. The upgrade allows routers to communicate with multiple devices at the same time, rather than broadcasting to one device, then the next, and so on. Another new technology associated with Wi-Fi 6 is OFDMA (orthogonal frequency division multiple access), which allows one transmission to deliver data to multiple devices at once. It allows for a connection to deliver data more effectively and efficiently across networks.
WiFi6 introduces a capability to mitigate the network issues that come with having more devices operating across single networks. This includes:
- Allowing routers to communicate with more devices at once
- Enabling routers to send data to multiple devices operating on the same broadcast
- Scheduling check-ins with routers
- Improving connection strength
- Delivering efficiency for increased data demand
- Maintaining speeds on busy networks
Wi-Fi 6 will also offer a big security upgrade – the most significant in a decade, thanks to a new security protocol. This protocol is called WPA3, and it makes it more difficult for hackers to crack devices and makes data less meaningful if it is at risk.
The Business Application
The difficult part about Wi-Fi 6 is that it requires new devices. Wi-Fi generations rely on hardware, not just software, meaning new devices are required to adopt a Future Workplace that operates with Wi-Fi 6. However, business leaders don’t need to rush out and replace everything all at once. Digital Transformation is a gradual process, and each company needs an appropriate and relevant strategy to make the most of their digital investments.
The first step is to look at investing in a Wi-Fi 6 router. New devices will be released with Wi-Fi 6 as a default, so device replacement will already incorporate the latest version of Wi-Fi. However, a new router is required to support a new generation of Wi-Fi. Companies will not see the benefits of their Digital Transformation on this new network without the hardware to support it.
Wi-Fi 6 is just getting started, and devices supporting it are only just emerging onto the market. Its inclusion will become more and more common in the coming months and is something businesses should be aware of and build into their Digital Transformation strategy.
If you are looking to make the most out of your digital investments, or want to find out more about how to ensure your networks are working for you and your business – contact MOQdigital today.