Wi-Fi Alliance announced Wi-Fi 6, the new name for the 802.11ax standard, giving up on the old 802.11 naming scheme and choosing to go forward using a numerical sequence making it easier for both users and vendors to differentiate between various Wi-Fi tech standards.
The new generational approach provides users, product vendors, OS vendors, and service providers with a simple and more straightforward way of identifying the capabilities of the Wi-Fi standard a specific device or wireless network users.
According to Wi-Fi Alliance's press release, Wi-Fi 6 now identifies 802.11ax technology, Wi-Fi 5 designates 802.11ac tech, and Wi-Fi 4 is the new name for 802.11n standard.
The new generational approach was chosen to better highlight significant advancements in Wi-Fi technology, with a host of new features, from increased throughput and faster speeds, to support for more concurrent connections.
Wi-Fi 6 is supposed to be 37% faster than Wi-Fi 5, with top speeds of up to 11 Gbit/s
"For nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions to determine if their devices support the latest Wi-Fi,” stated Edgar Figueroa, Wi-Fi Alliance president, and CEO.
In addition, “Wi-Fi Alliance is excited to introduce Wi-Fi 6, and present a new naming scheme to help industry and Wi-Fi users easily understand the Wi-Fi generation supported by their device or connection," according to Figueroa.
The new Wi-Fi 6 standard is supposed to come with denser subcarrier spacing, a new 1024QAM mode, as well as allow up to 9 concurrent users per channel, with each user being assigned up to 26 subcarriers.
Furthermore, Wi-Fi 6 is expected to be 37% faster than Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) featuring a top speed of 11 Gbit/s as demonstrated during CES 2018, with a four times increase of the user throughput because of better spectrum utilization efficiency.
Wi-Fi 6 is designed to operate within the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz spectrums, and it should expand to additional bands between 1 and 7 GHz as soon as they are available.