Wi-Fi Alliance Simplifies Wi-Fi Naming Scheme With Upcoming 'Wi-Fi 6' Release

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The Wi-Fi Alliance, dedicated to developing new wireless networking standards, is planning to make Wi-Fi naming simpler with the upcoming launch of the newest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax.

802.11ax will be known as "Wi-Fi 6," making it easier for Wi-Fi users to understand the difference between 802.11ax, 802.11ac, and 802.11n.


With the launch of Wi-Fi 6, 802.11ac will be known as "Wi-Fi 5," while 802.11n will be known as "Wi-Fi 4."
"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," said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. "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."
Wi-Fi 6 will introduce higher data rates, increased capacity, better performance in dense environments like concerts and sporting events, and improved power efficiency so Wi-Fi won't eat up as much battery on future devices.

In 802.11ax tests, speeds of up to 4.8Gbit/s over the 5GHz band have been reached. In demonstrations at CES, speeds maxed out at 11Gbit/s.

The new capabilities being introduced are outlined below, as specified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

[*]Uplink and downlink orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) increases efficiency and lowers latency for high demand environments
[*]1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM) enables peak gigabit speeds for emerging, bandwidth-intensive use cases
[*]Improved medium access control (MAC) control signaling increases throughput and capacity while reducing latency
[*]Increased symbol durations make outdoor network operations more robust

Wi-Fi 6 is expected to provide performance improvements to smart home setups with multiple Internet of Things devices, as well as businesses and those running large-scale deployments. The Wi-Fi 6 standard is expected to be finalized next year.

Article Link: Wi-Fi Alliance Simplifies Wi-Fi Naming Scheme With Upcoming 'Wi-Fi 6' Release
 

thomas040

macrumors regular
Jan 5, 2007
116
216
New York
I don't know about this. I loved how obscure and obfuscated it all was. I'm not sure the public is ready to be talking about WiFi version numbers. Besides, it's a protocol, not a software release.

But ... on the other hand, it would make life easier. So I say bring it on.
 

PwrSuprUsr

macrumors newbie
Jul 31, 2018
19
112
I don't know about this. I loved how obscure and obfuscated it all was. I'm not sure the public is ready to be talking about WiFi version numbers. Besides, it's a protocol, not a software release.

But ... on the other hand, it would make life easier. So I say bring it on.
Yes, but I think you think of it like 3G or 4G where this is not just WiFi version 6 but rather WiFi 6th Generation. It makes lumping in the specifics much easier.
 

Jetfire

macrumors 6502
Jul 10, 2008
373
330
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Why did it take until now for someone to figure this out? This is a way better naming convention.
The number of Wifi devices have exploded in that last couple of years since 802.11ac is over five years old. As people add more to their network more problems arise. This means more tech calls.
 

macduke

macrumors G4
Jun 27, 2007
10,922
14,608
Central U.S.
If this doesn't deserve a FINALLY then I don't know what does. Nothing rolls off the tongue quite like 802.11ax. Now if only Eero would put out a WiFi 6 compatible mesh network. My AirPort Extreme WiFi 5 isn't cutting it with gigabit speeds in my neighborhood now. I've been thinking about setting up a cheap router as a bridge until Eero updates their products.
 

kognos

macrumors regular
Aug 17, 2013
107
216
Oregon
This is "meh". All it does is create the false illusion that the higher number is better. It's not, in all cases. On a very basic level, a higher number is better, but for example, people would absolutely prefer WiFi4 over WiFi5 in a large house, as the 802.11ac signal strength is weak.

If we are to believe that all future versions of WiFi - for example, WiFi7 - would both increase in signal strength, power, distance, speed, etc - then I'm all for this, otherwise it's the same problem we have now with a different name. With the way the 802.11 protocol has worked so far, this hasn't proven true, there are often revisions that focus more on speed or power, but rarely both.
 

gsmornot

macrumors 68040
Sep 29, 2014
3,242
2,793
It will be years before everyone catches up. I’m dumping my time capsule for a current mesh system myself very soon.
Which system are you going with? My Airport devices are cable connected (I have 4 around the house) and 2 of them are used for the ethernet ports on the back for devices that are not WiFi. One has a 5 port switch connected. I'm not sure how I would go about using mesh with my current use needs.
 
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TsMkLg068426

macrumors 65816
Mar 31, 2009
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Ehh don't think anyone needs to jump ahead to get this Wi-Fi since most devices still getting into 802.11ac wireless cards if only Apple Airport still got support, sigh.
 

EdT

macrumors 68000
Mar 11, 2007
1,667
1,435
Omaha, NE
This is "meh". All it does is create the false illusion that the higher number is better. It's not, in all cases. On a very basic level, a higher number is better, but for example, people would absolutely prefer WiFi4 over WiFi5 in a large house, as the 802.11ac signal strength is weak.

If we are to believe that all future versions of WiFi - for example, WiFi7 - would both increase in signal strength, power, distance, speed, etc - then I'm all for this, otherwise it's the same problem we have now with a different name. With the way the 802.11 protocol has worked so far, this hasn't proven true, there are often revisions that focus more on speed or power, but rarely both.
Bah, you guys are all just jealous of my Illudium Q-36 Space Modulator. Admit it.
 
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Chrjy

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2010
794
1,147
UK
I'm not entirely sure how this makes that much difference. Yes, it's easier to say Wi-Fi 6 rather than 802.11ax but it doesn't really help the user to understand the differences. It's the same problem with an easier name.

And it will be train wreck whilst this naming convention is switched....we'll still have old and new, imagine this for users, they'll be as confused as hell!
 
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