During the past two decades, Wi-Fi has connected billions of people around the globe and helped improve countless lives. As the Wi-Fi Alliance notes, Wi-Fi’s inherent strengths have made the ever-evolving IEEE 802.11 one of the greatest success stories of the technology era. Indeed, according to Kevin Robinson, VP of marketing at the WiFi Alliance, Wi-Fi has contributed approximately $2 trillion to the world’s economy – with more than 13 billion Wi-Fi devices in active use worldwide. Moreover, Wi-Fi is the primary medium for global Internet traffic, as more than 80% of traffic on the average smartphone is transferred via Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
The latest iteration of the wireless standard – Wi-Fi 6 – offers up to a four-fold capacity increase over its Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) predecessor. As we’ve previously discussed on The Ruckus Room, the very first Wi-Fi 6 access points (APs) and client devices hit the market only recently. Nevertheless, IDC analysts see Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) deployments ramping significantly throughout 2019 and becoming the dominant enterprise Wi-Fi standard by 2021. Meanwhile, Christian Kim, Senior Analyst IoT, Connectivity and Telecom Electronics at IHS Markit, estimates that total Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) device shipments will increase to 58 million units in 2021.
Aside from offering a four-fold capacity increase over its predecessor, Wi-Fi 6 enables multiple APs deployed in dense device environments to collectively deliver required quality-of-service (QoS) to more clients with more diverse usage profiles. This is made possible by a range of technologies that optimize spectral efficiency, increase throughput and reduce power consumption. These include Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), Target Wake Time (TWT), Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), BSS Coloring and 1024-QAM.
The Ruckus R730 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point
In addition to implementing the above technologies, Ruckus’ R730 Wi-Fi 6 AP supports a range of supplemental technologies that go well beyond the 802.11ax standard, including: