Thursday, May 21, 2020

Wi-Fi 6 or IEEE 802.11ax why do you need it ?

Wi-fi a service which we use quite extensively in our day-to-day lives more than the actual word itself . Infact this blog  was also uploaded using my wi-fi. It has become quite a staple in our lives now.

Wi-Fi 6 or IEEE 802.11ax  why do you need it ?

Wi-fi has become sooooo popular that not only big organisations have opted this but also 90% of the local households have wi-fi installed.

Lately different versions of wi-fi have been released claiming that there are advancements in connectivity and betterment in the user satisfaction.

Wi-fi is basically a wireless communication between the device that you are using  and internet that you want to connect to for whatever purpose. and this idea has hugely been opted world wide because of its ease of operation and availability.

The popularity was because it was not possible every time to use a leased line to connect to the internet with higher speeds any time any place.

With the introduction of Wi-fi 6 or 802.11ax a huge huge hindrance was solved which the other generation of wi-fi had.

The main achievement of wi-fi 6 is Bandwidth Management.

Now many people would think that if the wi-fi speed is increased there would be no need to do anything thing different and this incremental speed can be done every generation.

But the most important thing even more important than the speed is the bandwidth of the wi-fi and how efficiently it can be managed.

We are aware that wi-fi generations are often branded with the frequency band in which it can operate.

W-fi 4/802.11n or wi-fi 5/802.11ac major drawbacks or Pain points:

Wi-fi 4 or 802.11n  2.4GHz/5GHz which is the most common wi-fi band for the operation of various electronics devices nowadays.The 2.4GHz band has been so extensively used that now there is a lot of congestion in that band and now devices are opting to work in the 5GHz band as there is absolutely no congestion yet. but that can change very fast.

Following wi-fi 4 came wi-fi 5 802.11ac operating at  5GHz band and also backwards compatible with the wi-fi 4 having increased speeds.

But even with such improvements in speeds and link rates there was only one thing that was observed and that was in the places where there are more devices using wi-fi , having higher speeds was not enough as the device which was being serviced by the wi-fi was working smoothly and was fast thanks to the increased speeds.

But at the same time other devices had to WAIT for that service.

So we can say  that when one device is connected to wi-fi for a particular request being serviced, other devices has to wait its turn to get its request serviced no matter how big bandwidth that wi-fi gen can support or how fast is it.

The below picture can make you imagine what's actually happening.

Wifi 4and wifi 5 channel bandwidth management

Suppose you are doing a critical task on your computer connected over wi-fi and also there are other devices connected to it  and all the devices are making continuous requests to wif-fi router for getting service .

Every time your critical work done on the computer needs to get serviced it has to wait its turn till the wi-fi finishes the services requested by the device it is currently servicing. This wont be visible much as in the home environment the speed of the wi-fi gen usually handles the servicing with minimal or no noticeable lags.

wifi 4 802.11n and wifi 5 802.11ac working

But this is clearly evident in a place where there are a lot of devices requesting like the train stations, airports, shopping malls etc.

Wi-fi 6/802.11ax BIG improvement :

Keeping the above pain points in mind, wi-fi 6 was introduced by Wi-fi alliance which not only had higher speed than the previous gen wi-fi but also a smarter bandwidth management capability.

  • Below is a rough visual representation of what it looks like.

Wifi 6 or 802.11ax bandwith management

With wi-fi 6 there is a priority of service and also the understanding of the amount of bandwidth for that particular request is present.

Now on wi-fi 6 if a services request is made , then not the whole band is used to service that request making the other devices wait till the operation gets over rather only some part of the band will be allocated to the requesting device which can handle the request  and in the mean time rest of the free vacant channels can be used to services other requesting devices which have other demanding tasks or tasks of similar operations.

Wifi 6 or 802.11ax simultaneous bandwidth management

This means that there will be no waiting until a services is being request and also not the whole bandwidth will be wasted for doing a task that doesn't require the whole bandwidth rather they will be used by the devices which are in actual need of it and that too simultaneously.

Many well known brands like Intel , Asus , Qualcomm , Broadcom  etc have opted this technology and have already manufactured many products with the Wi-fi 6 or 802.11ax capability.

Also many new phones launched like The Apple iPhone 11, Huawei Mate Xs, Huawei P40, Oppo Reno3 5G, Oppo A91 etc have been given support for W-fi 6 which shows the world will be opting this technology at a very fast pace.

Guys I hope that this post "Wi-Fi 6 or IEEE 802.11ax  why do you need it ?" finds you and helps you people out there in some or the other way.