If you’re considering upgrading your network infrastructure, look no further than Wi-Fi 6.
When it comes to managing your IT infrastructure in business, the smart play is to always remain one step ahead. Doing so allows you to stay productive when it inevitably comes time to upgrade, while also avoiding further upgrades and expenses later down the line.
But these days it feels almost impossible to keep up with the latest catch-phrases in the fast-paced world of technology.
All except for one, that is. After a lot of talk over the last few years, Wi-Fi 6 has finally arrived.
What is Wi-Fi 6 all about again?
Wi-Fi 6, most notably, allows users to experience faster and more efficient Wi-Fi speeds with a greater number of devices connected to the Wi-Fi network.
It achieves this by means of new, more advanced technologies and, yes, there are acronyms involved… Some of which include:
- OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency-division Multiple Access)
- MU-MIMO (Multiple User, Multiple Input, Multiple Output)
- TWT (Target Wake Time)
These technologies are designed to allow APs (Access Points) to serve multiple Wi-Fi clients / devices at the same time.
OFDMA is ideal for low-bandwidth applications, while MU-MIMO takes care of high-bandwidth applications. This technology increases capacity and efficiency in high-bandwidth applications and delivers a channel to multiple users simultaneously (up to eight separate devices in a group).
MU-MIMO is ideal for applications such as online gaming, HD video conference calls or online classes.
OFMDA and MU-MIMO technologies complement each other and increase performance on the uplink and the downlink. With Wi-Fi 6 equipment, we can access both technologies, and, as they both have a managed approach, the result is a better Wi-Fi experience overall.
TWT is a new feature of Wi-Fi 6 (11ax) that allows an AP to “wake up” more efficiently to receive and send data based on transmission scheduling. This improves power saving on APs and your Wi-Fi devices.
Wi-Fi 6 is capable of delivering Wi-Fi Internet throughput three to six times faster than our current legacy devices.
Vox’s approach to best of breed equipment means that intelligent AI (Artificial Intelligence) functionality built into some Wi-Fi 6 AP’s can now be utilised in partnership with qualified Wi-Fi engineers to monitor performance and usage, to continuously improve the Wi-Fi experience around your office.
Coupled with our Managed Service offering, this can be helpful for remote troubleshooting and network configurations to resolve any network issues timeously.
Not so fast – eliminate your upgrade barriers first
There are a few things to look out for in your organisation’s network deployment that may cause bottlenecks. These include outdated routers, switches, cabling, and other hardware limitations. Any of these products may result in your organisation not achieving its WLAN objective.
To truly make the most of Wi-Fi 6, all of your equipment needs to be capable of delivering the speed, throughput and experience required in the objective.
The cabling solutions available include CAT 5, CAT 5e, CAT 6 and CAT 6A – which are all progressively faster in terms of throughput over the distance of cable run. From 100Mbps to more than 1Gbps. Nowadays, Cat 5e and Cat 6 are considered the standard for faster and better throughput.
Conduct a wireless site survey
A desktop survey should be conducted first, and we’ll need building floorplans to do this. This will give you an idea of the number and type of APs required to achieve your coverage and throughput needs.
An active site survey conducted with an AP on a stick and a spectrum analyser or survey software can be conducted after the desktop survey to validate the AP placement. A second on-site survey should be conducted after the installation to validate and confirm that the original goals have been met and for fine tuning AP placement, power output, channel assignment, SNR (Signal-to-Noise Ratio), RSSI (Received Signal Strength Indicator) values and roaming configuration.
This is the best way to ensure your wireless environment will meet your organisation’s needs, based on actual factors within your environment.
Choose the right Access Points
The right APs should provide enough flexibility to meet your WLAN objectives, whether you’re a school or university, hospital, government institution or a business. APs come in a range of indoor and outdoor, managed, or unmanaged solutions to fulfil your WLAN objective – and an experienced Wi-Fi Sales Specialist is more than capable of advising you which APs to choose to fulfil yours.
Your future business will thank you
Almost all businesses today have or need Wi-Fi, and demand is only increasing with more devices and more bandwidth-hungry applications.
With Wi-Fi 6, you’ll experience improved throughput and AP resource allocation that boosts efficiency to offer low latency, high-density deployments, improved outdoor performance and better spatial re-use.