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Wi-Fi Alliance Unveils Wi-Fi 6 Certification

The Wi-Fi Alliance, a non-profit group within the industry, launched the new Wi-Fi Certified 6 initiative on Monday, putting forth a new set of standards for next-generation wireless internet devices. The initiative is also expected to encourage more companies to jump into the realm of Wi-Fi 6 technologies.

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According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, the Wi-Fi Certified 6 program is now available for devices “based on IEEE 802.11ax.” The Wi-Fi Alliance’s press release on the matter sheds some light on what customers can expect from Wi-Fi 6:

“Wi-Fi Certified 6 supports a more diverse set of devices and applications, from those requiring peak performance in demanding enterprise environments to those requiring low power and low latency in smart homes or industrial IoT scenarios. Wi-Fi Certified 6 delivers nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5, and is an evolutionary advancement for Wi-Fi’s ability to deliver high-performance infrastructure and optimized connectivity to all devices on a network simultaneously – bringing noticeable improvements in densely connected Wi-Fi environments.”

Wi-Fi 6 is also expected to offer support for cellular networks and to “deliver many advanced 5G services.”

Manufacturers that take part in this new program and meet the standard will sport a certification badge on their packaging. The specific technology being employed in these new devices are 802.11ax Wi-Fi radios, for which the term “Wi-Fi 6” will serve as a more user-friendly synonym. Through a number of specific hardware changes, Wi-Fi 6 is said to be up to 40% faster than its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5.

According to CNet, a handful of technologies on the market already offer Wi-Fi 6 capabilities. These include a number of routers and the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus, the latter of which Samsung claims of the first smartphone to support the next generation Wi-Fi technology. Apple’s upcoming iPhone 11 range of products will also support Wi-Fi 6.

Some of the companies the Alliance claims are taking part in the new initiative include Asus, AT&T, Boingo, Broadcom, Cisco, Comcast, Intel, Netgear, Qualcomm, Samsung, TP-Link, and Xiaomi.

For the remainder of 2019, the spread of Wi-Fi 6 is expected to be slow to start, with growth speeding up in 2020 and beyond.

In fact, even existing Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) client devices can benefit from a Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) AP, though Wi-Fi 6 Certified devices will deliver the best results.


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