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Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jun 23, 2014

802.11ax Wi-Fi - Because 802.11ac Is So 2013!

The Wi-Fi alliance is already looking for the next standard in the wireless communications and it's time we look forward to the new 802.11ax standard, the successor to currently popular 802.11ac. It's true that 802.11ac is still finding its ways through various devices and it's only now that the modern phones and laptops have began supporting the standard. The 'ac' offers speeds up to 1300 Mbps and that's really fast, letting you do almost anything you'd like to do. In reality, the 'ac' certified rounters do ~350-400 Mbps, the 'ax' is promising about 2 Gbps!

In the test labs, Huawei has already achieved maximum data transfer speed of about 10.53 Gbps! Beat that? I thought of finding out what exactly is 801.11ax and what are we marching towards in the wireless standards. I discovered quite a lot of interesting information. Here are the salient points-
  • It operates in the 5GHz band like 802.11ac.
  • Four 'Multiple-Input-Multiple-Output' aka MIMO spatial streams, each multiplexed with OFDA (orthogonal frequency division access).
  • Huawei says that OFDA helps in improving the spectral efficiency by about 10 times.
  • The reports in the media say that the aim of the Wi-Fi alliance is to achieve 4x the speed of the current 'ac' standard.
  • Assuming a 160 MHz channel, the single stream of 802.11ax will be ~3.5 Gbps. With a 4x4 MIMO; you can expect a total capacity of about 14 Gbps! Blows wind in my hair!
  • However, in more realistic terms for consumer products, you should be able to see 600 MBps speeds; enough to transfer your HD collection with a blink of an eye. However, if Huawei succeeds you may be getting about 800-900 Mbps!
The standard is expected to be final by 2019 and that's a long wait! Would love to see your thoughts and comments on 802.11ax!

Reference: ExtremeTech
Is there any possible products to come before 2019???
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Jun 29, 2014
Karthikeyan jaisankar
Is there any possible products to come before 2019???
I think no. When the standards are established, the entire ecosystem has to accept it; meaning the hardware and software makers have to be ready for the next technology. The current 802.11ac is quite powerful and yet to be accepted in the mainstream; as most of the routers are stuck with 802.11 b/g/n. 5-8 years is not a big time for this technology to be ready to be called 'outdated', by which the new standard will settle. It's a continuously evolving process.
AmeyN • Sep 17, 2014
Is there any new 802.11 standard designed specifically for Internet of Things?
Kaustubh Katdare
Kaustubh Katdare • Sep 17, 2014
Is there any new 802.11 standard designed specifically for Internet of Things?
To the best of my knowledge ax standard is still being worked upon and it's the latest one. The one that's available in market is 'ac' - which I'm currently using for my wifi network.
Is there any new 802.11 standard designed specifically for Internet of Things?
You'd need to look at IEEE 802.11ah for that. Low power & long range requirements, as high throughput is not needed.

Challenge would probably be balancing IoT device sizes & antenna design to cater with sub-gigahertz frequencies.

Target rollout in the 2015-2016 time frame.

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