WBA Readies for Move to 802.11ax
Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has published a new white paper
highlighting how the capabilities of the latest generation of Wi-Fi,
802.11ax, are set to revolutionize the industry by enabling a new suite
of opportunities that benefit operators, enterprises and end users. The
paper, ‘Enhanced Wi-Fi – 802.11ax Decoded’, calls attention to the
advantages of using 802.11ax to deliver both fundamental improvements
for Wi-Fi as a standalone business and also how it facilitates early
delivery of many “5G use cases”. 802.11ax not only creates a capability
step change, but also access to the enormous Wi-Fi market through its
Dual Band Frequencies supporting 2.4 GHz and 5GHz to expand spectrum usage possibilities, as well as New Frequency Ranges. This includes the extension of support to the 6GHz band, enabling new swathes of spectrum to be leveraged to deliver improved performance whilst maintaining support to all previous Wi-Fi generations, creating access to wide market
Flexible Channel Sizes and Resource Units will allow operators to offer more efficient IoT support, such as connections that require lower data rates to use narrow dedicated channels to save power. This also means carriers are able to support both broadband based services as well as IoT over the same network.
The new Target Wake Time feature allows IoT devices to sleep to reduce access contention and wakeup in scheduled time slots thereby significantly improving device battery life.
In addition to the specific features,
the WBA highlights the business advantages of the new standard, from
investment effectiveness, speed to market and capacity and density
improvements. The paper recognises four key drivers of higher Return on
investment (ROI) of Wi-Fi for retailers, manufacturers, service
industries, transportation and communities in particular: low cost of
deployment; return on investment of unlicensed spectrum; the user value
of ubiquitous access; and the free, service-based model of Wi-Fi, over
the paid-for access-based model for cellular.