WBA declares Wi-Fi 6 is ready for carrier network deployment

Wi-Fi 6 is ready
Image by niphon | Bigstockphoto.com

Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), the worldwide industry body dedicated to improving Wi-Fi services and standards, has announced the conclusion of five trial deployments of Wi-Fi 6 across diverse markets.

The deployments show that Wi-Fi 6, with wider channels up to 160 MHz, and capacity up to 9.6 Gbps (compared to 3.5 Gbps in Wi-Fi 5), can enable nearly three times faster gigabit data rates. Wi-Fi 6 is also now proven to deliver better reliability, lower latency, more deterministic behaviour, and better network efficiency, especially in environments with many connected devices. Wi-Fi 6 will help with congestion problems, increase densification of the network – helping to connect more devices and enable new use cases. 

The trials covering a range of different verticals and deployment scenarios demonstrates the key capabilities of Wi-Fi 6 in live networks, establishing its readiness for carrier Wi-Fi deployments around the world. This lays the foundation for deployment of Wi-Fi 6 in enterprises, homes, schools, transportation hubs, travellers and the Internet of Things (IoT).

WBA members including network providers, infrastructure vendors and device vendors set up the trial environments and executed the test cases in end-to-end real-life networks. The trials addressed the following deployment in key vertical markets:

Industrial manufacturing: Mettis Aerospace worked with Broadcom, Cisco, iBwave and Intel to deploy Wi-Fi 6 in a dense industrial environment with heavy metal, high temperatures and moving machinery, where previous generations of Wi-Fi did not perform well. The Wi-Fi 6 trial demonstrated much-improved reliability, coverage, throughput and lower latency for supporting mission-critical applications.

High-density malls: SK Telecom deployed Wi-Fi 6 to improve connectivity for consumers, increase quality of experience (QoE) for densely populated areas and provide high throughput for immersive media services. Wi-Fi 6 reduced latency by 80%, reduced throughput fluctuation, and improved service reliability to customers anywhere, anytime, throughout the mall.

Single-family and multi-dwelling units: CableLabs®, Intel and Kyrio® deployed Wi-Fi 6 in a mixed-use residential area to increase the user experience in a Wi-Fi loaded network. In this trial, Wi-Fi 6 delivered a significant increase in throughput, enabling the delivery of multiple 4K video with higher quality.  

Education in rural areas: C-DOT and Intel deployed Wi-Fi 6 in a rural school trial in India to enhance new learning technologies, and improve signal coverage and streaming performance. Wi-Fi 6 improved throughput by more than 50% throughout the network.

Transportation hubs like John Wayne Airport: In the U.S, Boingo, Cisco and Samsung worked together to launch Wi-Fi 6 at John Wayne Airport (SNA) to power a next-generation connectivity experience and support airport operations. Following the SNA deployment, Boingo has moved its Wi-Fi 6 technologies from trials to commercial operations and most recently, Boingo has announced an airport-wide commercial deployment of Wi-Fi 6 at São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport (GRU), delivering incredibly fast speeds and low latency to passengers.

“These successful deployments prove the strength of Wi-Fi 6 technology to achieve better throughput, lower latency, enhanced reliability, improved network efficiency and better user experience,” said Tiago Rodrigues, CEO, WBA. “Ultimately, they prove the readiness of Wi-Fi 6 for carrier deployments, and the WBA continues to develop and expand new trials that support Wi-Fi 6 and 6E expansion into new areas in different geographies around the world.”

In a recent WBA survey, it was found that more than 65% will have deployed Wi-Fi 6 by the end of 2021. For many WBA Members, Wi-Fi 6 is now moving rapidly to commercial deployment.

Download the Wi-Fi 6 Trials Report here.

Related article: 90% of WBA survey respondents plan to deploy Wi-Fi 6

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