Wi-Fi 6 certification is here. On Monday, an announcement from the Wi-Fi Alliance datelined Austin, Texas said the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification program from Wi-Fi Alliance was now available.
Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance, said, “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will deliver improvements in connectivity, including in high density locations and IoT environments.”
Advanced connectivity. Boosted performance. More capacity. Good power efficiency. Happy gains surrounding the tongue-teasing word-and-number string known as “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6, the industry certification program based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard.”
Real world results?
One may anticipate “quality connectivity in locations with hundreds or thousands of connected devices.”
The update will translate into better performance when a large number of devices try to connect to Wi-Fi all at once.
Dr. Derek Peterson, Boingo CTO, said Wi-Fi 6 was a game changer for dense and congested environments. He said it will help operators like Boingo facilitate a more seamless connected experience in venues that include airports and stadiums.
Another scenario that will benefit involves “corporate networks utilizing time sensitive, high bandwidth applications.”
The Wi-Fi Alliance said streaming ultra high-definition movies will gain.
Virtual and augmented reality used in e-learning, telepresence, and healthcare may also show better performance.
All in all, it’s helping out a very “connected” world. The benefit of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 travels across the range of “the most dense and dynamic connectivity settings.”
How does it differ from Wi-Fi 5? WI-FI 6 delivers nearly four times the capacity. This is how Jim Salter in Ars Technica summed up the difference:
“Wi-Fi 6 – aka 802.11ax – is the next generation of Wi-Fi. 802.11ax will, at least in theory, allow many more nearby devices to use the same Wi-Fi channels and frequencies without causing as much congestion and lag as Wi-Fi 5 (better known as 802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) do.”
Anton Shilov in AnandTech said that “Under the hood, the new standard takes a bit of a departure from past Wi-Fi iterations by focusing more on improving performance in shared environments, as opposed to solely boosting peak device transfer rates.”
Beyond Wi-Fi 6 talk about improved capacity and performance, “what gets me really excited,” said Jayanthi Srinivasan, director of product management, Cisco Meraki, “is the support for 2.4 GHz band and the power consumption improvements.”
Wired wrote that Wi-Fi 6, or 802.11ax, is supposed to optimize for transmission frequencies of 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz bands.
“Two of its marquee features are multi-user, multiple-input, multiple-output technology (MU-MIMO), and something called Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA).”
TechSpot can help you visualize those technologies. Mark Turner wrote that “instead of one clerk serving a single line of customers individually, the combination of MU-MIMO and OFDMA can be equated to having many clerks and many lines, with each clerk capable of serving multiple customers at once.”
CNET’s Ry Crist commented on what this would mean for manufacturers.
“Its availability also serves as a green light for manufacturers who might be watching for the right moment to jump in with the new standard—especially now that we have multiple Wi-Fi 6 routers on the market, as well as Wi-Fi 6 support in flagship phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and the iPhone 11.”
What, iPhone? Ed Hardy in Cult of Mac confirmed” “An overlooked feature of the iPhone 11 series is Wi-Fi 6, a faster version of this nearly ubiquitous short-range wireless-networking standard.”
Hardy said, “Located in an ‘other good stuff’ section of the official iPhone 11 specifications is a promise of ‘Faster WiFi: Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) lets you download up to 38 percent faster.'”
Meanwhile, a router comment from ASUS: “As a pioneer of the world’s first Wi-Fi 6 router and a rapidly expanding ecosystem of Wi-Fi 6 network adapters, motherboards, laptops and mini PCs, we at ASUS believe Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 is the answer for multi-device households.”
That was from ASUS’ Tenglong Deng. He is general manager of the company’s networking and wireless devices business unit.
Just because you buy a Wi-Fi 6 friendly router, however, won’t be everything. Here is where CNET’s Cris comment about jumping in bears relevance. Jim Salter in Ars Technica said that “very few of these benefits can be seen just from buying a Wi-Fi 6 router – you need most, if not all, of the devices in range (both yours and, ideally, any neighbors’) to also support Wi-Fi 6 before you see the improvements.”
CNET’s Crist added it all up to “better, faster Wi-Fi and that you get all of it from devices that are certified.”
So, when the Alliance talks about their “certification program” what does that really mean? Anton Shilov, AnandTech:
The program’s focus is verifying the interoperability and feature sets of IEEE 802.11ax devices – such as, Do the devices work well with each other? Do they show all the features that belong to the new standard’s capabilities?
OK, it is the morning after, and you the consumer need to know what to do with this announcement, the word strings, and the enthusiastic partner statements.
Ars Technica to the rescue: “…make certain that moving forward, any new devices you purchase – especially expensive ones, like smartphones – support Wi-Fi 6, so you don’t end up with a technical deficit in a couple years’ time.”
The Samsung Galaxy Note10 is the first smartphone to be announced Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 by the Wi-Fi Alliance, said Samsung.
Wi-Fi 6 ratification from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the industry group that maintains and develops wireless standards, is expected to happen later, said CNET.
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 CERTIFIED 6 delivers critical connectivity that supports cellular networks, and leverages high speeds, low latency, power efficiency, greater capacity, and enhanced coverage to deliver many advanced 5G services.
“Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 is ushering in a new era of Wi-Fi, building on Wi-Fi’s core characteristics to provide better performance in every environment for users, greater network capacity for service providers to improve coverage for their customers, and new opportunities for advanced applications,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will deliver improvements in connectivity, including in high density locations and IoT environments.”
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 delivers advanced security protocols and requires the latest generation of Wi-Fi security, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED WPA3™. Advanced capabilities available in Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 include:
- Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA): effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments
- Multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO): allows more downlink data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit data to a larger number of devices concurrently
- 160 MHz channels: increases bandwidth to deliver greater performance with low latency
- Target wake time (TWT): significantly improves battery life in Wi-Fi devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices
- 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM): increases throughput in Wi-Fi devices by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum
- Transmit beamforming: enables higher data rates at a given range resulting in greater network capacity
“Wi-Fi 6 brings greater speeds and more efficiency to Wi-Fi networks, expanding its role as a critical communication platform,” said Phil Solis, research director at IDC. “Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 drives a higher quality experience for all Wi-Fi’s many use cases, further propelling the Wi-Fi market and ensuring Wi-Fi maintains its strong position as the connectivity landscape evolves.”
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 expands on Wi-Fi’s core strengths including affordable performance, efficient operation, commitment to security, ease of use, self-deployment, and long-term compatibility, while also supporting a more reliable user experience in areas of high user demand.
Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 leverages Wi-Fi’s global ubiquity to more efficiently connect users in more environments, support growing data requirements, and expand advanced use cases including augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR), streaming high-definition content, real-time monitoring, and mission critical applications.
“Spectrum-based services have already changed the world and unlocked immeasurable economic potential and consumer benefit. As we enter a new chapter of interconnectivity with the transition to next-generation broadband networks, Wi-Fi 6 will play a critical role in improving the businesses and the lives of everyday Americans,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-06), Vice-Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Communications and Technology Subcommittee and Co-Chair of the Congressional Spectrum Caucus. “The capacity and performance of Wi-Fi 6 will enable new IoT and high-density applications that will help us reimagine and build the infrastructure of the future. I look forward to working with the Wi-Fi Alliance in their efforts to deliver the next generation of Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi-connected devices.”
“It’s so exciting to see the initiation of the Wi-Fi 6 certification process, which really serves as the kick-off to making this technology a market reality. As a user and a regulator, I can’t wait for the vast improvements in speed and capacity that Wi-Fi 6 will bring, especially in dense, multi-device environments, and the innovation and entrepreneurship it will foster,” said Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, Federal Communications Commission. “Thank you to the Wi-Fi community for continuing to amaze us with technological advancements that revolutionize the Internet experience.”
The Samsung Galaxy Note10 is the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 smartphone, and Wi-Fi Alliance expects most leading phones and access points will soon support the latest generation of Wi-Fi.
The first products designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 which comprise the test bed for certification include:
- Broadcom® BCM4375
- Broadcom® BCM43698
- Broadcom® BCM43684
- Cypress CYW 89650 Auto-Grade Wi-Fi 6 Certified
- Intel® Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) AX200 (for PCs)
- Intel® Home Wi-Fi Chipset WAV600 Series (for routers and gateways)
- Marvell 88W9064 (4×4) Wi-Fi 6 Dual-Band STA
- Marvell 88W9064 (4×4) + 88W9068 (8×8) Wi-Fi 6 Concurrent Dual-Band AP
- Qualcomm® Networking Pro 1200 Platform
- Qualcomm® FastConnect 6800 Wi-Fi 6 Mobile Connectivity Subsystem
- Ruckus R750 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point
For more information on Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 please visit: https://www.wi-fi.org/discover-wi-fi/wi-fi-certified-6
Industry support for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6:
“In addition to increased speed and capacity, Wi-Fi 6 will support the growing density of connected devices in the home, delivering lower latency, enhanced battery life, and better overall performance. Wi-Fi 6 helps guarantee that users get the most out of these new functionalities in complex environments where they cohabit with legacy devices will require smart management of the whole ecosystem. AirTies’ Smart Wi-Fi software and cloud-based management software will ensure that service providers maximize their investment in Wi-Fi 6 to meet the evolving needs of their customers. We look forward to supporting Wi-Fi Alliance and its new Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program.” – Metin Taskin, CTO of AirTies
“Wi-Fi is the primary connectivity method for billions of devices, users and things. We applaud Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program as it will provide users with confidence that their devices meet the highest standards for security and interoperability and that they will provide the best possible user experience. As device densities continue to climb, bandwidth needs continue to surge and sophisticated new security threats continue to emerge, it will be increasingly important for users to select devices that are certified to meet the market’s most exacting standards, so they can take advantage of the emerging, innovative, next-generation use cases that Wi-Fi 6 is enabling.” – Chuck Lukaszewski, vice president of wireless standards and strategy for Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company
“ASSIA’s mission is to develop technologies that improve reliability of wired and wireless network connections. ASSIA has built a large portfolio of wireless technologies that utilize Wi-Fi 6 today, and for Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 devices these ASSIA technologies bring significant gains in network performance as well as vendor neutral network management options. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will help build a massive IoT ecosystem at a fraction of the cost of deploying licensed band equivalent systems. We look forward to being part of evolution during this exciting time!” – Tuncay Cil, Chief Strategy Officer, ASSIA
“With the growing number of connected personal and IoT devices pushing current Wi-Fi to its limits, Wi-Fi 6 ushers in a new era of networking performance, and the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification program ensures users get the best home Wi-Fi experience out of this amazing new technology. As a pioneer of the world’s first Wi-Fi 6 router and a rapidly expanding ecosystem of Wi-Fi 6 network adapters, motherboards, laptops and mini PCs, we at ASUS believe Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 is the answer for multi-device households and are happy to see the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification program from Wi-Fi Alliance is available now.” – said Tenglong Deng, General Manager, ASUS Networking and Wireless Devices Business Unit.
“Wi-Fi 6 is a game changer in unlicensed connectivity, offering consumers exactly what they are seeking – the fastest, most responsive and reliable Wi-Fi.” – JR Wilson, Vice President of Tower Strategy and Roaming, AT&T
“Wi-Fi 6 is a game changer for dense and congested environments, helping operators like Boingo facilitate a more seamless connected experience in large venues that include airports and stadiums. Higher data rates, better spectrum usage, and increased network capacity are among the standout features of Wi-Fi 6 and we’re excited to see the technology’s certification program take off.” – Dr. Derek Peterson, chief technology officer, Boingo
“Broadcom is thrilled to have three of our best-in-class devices included in the certification test bed for today’s official launch of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 — the BCM4375, BCM43698, and BCM43684. These Broadcom devices already power 10s of millions of Samsung Galaxy phones and routers around the world. Capable of supporting up to 160 MHz wide channels, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 devices offer consumers lower latency, better battery life and as yet unseen throughputs, all of which are critical for 5G services. As the full 6 GHz band is made available for unlicensed use – with multiple 160 MHz-wide channels — the Wi-Fi 6 consumer experience will be turbocharged for the gigabit home and AR/VR.” – Vijay Nagarajan, Vice President, Wireless Communications & Connectivity Division, Broadcom
“We are seeing strong demand for our Wi-Fi 6 IP solutions for a wide range of market segments, including IoT, smart home, networking and mobile. We welcome the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program release as it will enable massive adoption of this latest standard and the inherent benefits it brings. The host of new features and impressive performance and power improvements Wi-Fi 6 offers, greatly improve the overall user experience.” – Ange Aznar, Vice President and General Manager of the Wireless IoT Business Unit at CEVA
“Thanks to the work of Wi-Fi Alliance and the commitment of its members to interoperability, Wi-Fi has changed the world. Wi-Fi 6 represents a significant evolution of Wi-Fi, taking wireless connectivity to new heights and enabling new applications and use cases that will continue to shape the world we live in. As the rollout of Wi-Fi 6 accelerates, the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program will provide Cisco’s customers assurance that the network and user devices will interoperate as expected; maximizing the benefits for businesses, the economy and users – which is exactly what Wi-Fi has been doing for the last 20 years.” – Matt MacPherson, Wireless CTO, Cisco
“Our world is becoming increasingly hyper-connected, and what gets me really excited about Wi-Fi 6, beyond the huge improvements in capacity and performance is the support for 2.4 GHz band and the power consumption improvements. With Wi-Fi Alliance and the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification program, we can ensure peak performance for all devices with next generation WPA3 security, no matter the use case. Whether for a factory, a stadium, or an office building, Cisco Meraki customers can be confident that deploying a Wi-Fi 6 network will deliver a secure, simple and superlative experience.” – Jayanthi Srinivasan, Director of Product Management, Cisco Meraki
“Wi-Fi 6 will help us meet the demands of tomorrow’s connectivity, with increased speed delivered to numerous devices simultaneously. Offering lower latency, better range, higher capacity and improved battery life for devices, Wi-Fi 6 ushers in the next generation of the world’s predominant wireless networking technology. We believe that Wi-Fi 6 will open a vast number of new applications and possibilities for our business.” – Cole Reinwand, Comcast Cable Communications, XFINITY WiFi
“Ruckus has always been at the leading edge of new certified technologies from Wi-Fi Alliance, and we’re proud that our extensive collaboration with Wi-Fi Alliance has contributed to the successful launch of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6. By being one of the first to incorporate Wi-Fi 6 features, the Ruckus R750 access point is both among the first fully Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 products and a high-performance Wi-Fi 6 access point used in the Wi-Fi Alliance test bed for interoperability certification. We look forward to participating with Wi-Fi Alliance in this exciting next phase of Wi-Fi industry growth.” – Morgan Kurk, CTO at CommScope
“Cypress’ early Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 leadership underscores our commitment to market enablement with advanced automotive applications including BSS color mapping, support for scheduling, and high performance in congested environments. The high-data rates supported by Wi-Fi 6 will also enable efficient factory automation using over-the-air downloads on parallel manufacturing lines. Consumers will be able to enjoy uniform home-to-car experiences benefiting from robust, secure, and longer-range Wi-Fi 6 connections while maintaining backward-compatible Wi-Fi 5 IoT device connections already installed in their home networks.” – Brian Bedrosian, vice president of marketing, IoT Compute and Wireless Business Unit at Cypress
“Some hype is just noise — but some new technologies really do transform their market. By finally gaining a megaphone, Wi-Fi 6 is one of those technologies. In addition to providing added capacity and coverage to support more connected devices, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 access points have the potential to completely transform enterprises and end-user experiences, something Wi-Fi 6 compliant and Wi-Fi 6 compatible access points can never claim.” – Perry Correll, Director of Product Marketing, Extreme Networks
“Wi-Fi 6 incorporates many new technologies, such as OFDMA technology, which divides the WLAN channel into multiple narrower subchannels, reducing competition, backoff and network latency and improving network efficiency. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 guarantees the experience of these new technologies and continues to enhance the competitiveness and influence of Wi-Fi in the data transmission field.” – Joe Yu, Wireless Product director at H3C
“Wi-Fi 6 is a major step forward in the evolution of Wi-Fi. Not only does it bring higher maximum data rates, it also improves robustness in crowded Wi-Fi environments, creating a better user experience with a sustained level of performance for the user. In addition, Wi-Fi 6 brings significant benefits to new low-power markets such as IoT and wearables, enhancing the current Wi-Fi 5 products targeting these markets with improved power consumption, low data rates, and the addition of OFDMA to share spectrum efficiently.” – Richard Edgar, Senior Director of Product Management, Ensigma, Imagination Technologies
“Wi-Fi 6 is the greatest advancement to Wi-Fi in the last decade. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 ensures that products across the industry will live up to the full potential and deliver user experiences promised by Wi-Fi 6. Intel is honored that our leadership solutions for both client PC/IoT and home routers/gateways were selected for the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 test bed.” – Eric McLaughlin, GM, Wireless Solutions Group, Intel Corp.
“Wi-Fi 6 has already taken center stage in serving public hotspots like coffee shops and sports arenas as well as residential customers, where high data rate and efficient access control among users are strongly demanded.” – Jaehyung Koo, Vice President, KT
“Wi-Fi 6 marks a major paradigm shift in the evolution of Wi-Fi technology, pairing unprecedented speeds with low latency, high network utilization, and innovative power saving technologies to enable new mission critical applications, while providing a significantly enhanced user experience even in high density environments. Marvell is proud to play a leading role in enabling Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 to ensure seamless interoperability and drive rapid adoption in the market place.” – Mark Montierth, VP and GM of the Wireless Business at Marvell Semiconductor
“As a leader in delivering new Wi-Fi connections and experiences to consumers worldwide, NETGEAR is thrilled to see the advancement of the Wi-Fi 6 certification program. With a broad range of Wi-Fi 6 routers via our Nighthawk performance Wi-Fi line, and a mesh Wi-Fi 6 system joining the Orbi Whole Home Wi-Fi family, NETGEAR is committed to improving the way people live through the connections we make.” – David Henry, senior vice president of Connected Home Products for NETGEAR
“Quantenna is committed to providing an exceptional Wi-Fi user experience and is actively involved in the development and standardization process of Wi-Fi 6. With Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6, consumers can easily identify and be assured that the devices they get include advanced capabilities for quality and interoperability. We look forward to certifying our products that enhance next generation Wi-Fi use cases.” – Irvind Ghai, vice president of Marketing, Quantenna Connectivity Solutions Division at ON Semiconductor
“Wi-Fi 6 is a key development that brings end-users a superior roaming experience. It is a milestone for this technology which offers improved connectivity, especially in dense areas of population and means an overall enhanced roaming capacity.” – Cedric Gonin, International Carriers, Orange
“At Qualcomm Technologies, we’ve been heavily supporting the global transition to Wi-Fi 6 for several years and are happy to be a part of Wi-Fi Alliance’s Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program. Qualcomm Technologies has shown its commitment in Wi-Fi 6 on the strength of our dogged pursuit and investment in the full potential of the new standard. We are excited to see the Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program launching, as it’s yet another indicator of the broad industry readiness to further establish a fervent, growing ecosystem of Wi-Fi 6 networks and devices.” – Rahul Patel, senior vice president and general manager, connectivity, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.
“Samsung is excited for the official launch of Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6. High speed 5G services need Wi-Fi 6 and so do consumers who want to seamlessly share the moments they create on their mobile devices. As a leading innovator in smartphone technology, we made this a reality when we launched the Samsung Galaxy S10 – the world’s first Wi-Fi 6 phone – earlier this year. Today, we are proud to officially announce that the Galaxy Note10 is the world’s first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 smartphone.” – Inkang Song, VP and Head of Technology Strategy Group of IT & Mobile Communications Division at Samsung Electronics
“The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 program ensures that devices based on 802.11ax technology meet industry standards for interoperability and security, thereby delivering superior performance and better coverage to users experiencing Wi-Fi 6. In the meantime, Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 includes advanced features, which provide devices with features of peak performance and low latency in smart home or IoT scenarios, ensuring a fast, flexible and connected Wi-Fi ecosystem.” – John Yin, Marketing Manager, TP-Link
“Wi-Fi 6, as the newest generation of Wi-Fi technology, can bring users higher throughput, lower latency, lower power consumption, and also enhance network efficiency. As an important member of the Wi-Fi Alliance, Xiaomi is committed to supporting Wi-Fi 6 technology in our applications, as well as engaging more deeply in Wi-Fi 6 certification, to bring our global users more and higher quality Wi-Fi 6 products.” Baoqiu Cui, Vice President of Xiaomi Corporation, Chairman of Technical Committee