You probably wonder what an even faster Wi-Fi network could be useful for. The upcoming 802.11ax (also known as Wi-Fi 6) standard will allow us to take full advantage of fiber optic connections. However, scientists associated around the IEEE organization are already thinking about the standard of the future, which will meet the requirements of real-time applications: video transmission, augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR).
Work carried out in standardization organizations far ahead of the reality that surrounds us. Currently, we are increasingly using the 802.11ac standard, which is slowly displacing 802.11n Wi-Fi networks. However, new routers that support 802.11ax are around the corner. No wonder that we use wired Ethernet networks less and less frequently. However, currently available solutions do not meet the technologies of the future. I am talking about applications that require communication in the so-called real time, i.e. they are extremely sensitive to all kinds of delays. That is why the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and IEEE-SA (IEEE Standards Association) standardization organizations have created a new study group called the IEEE 802.11 Extremely High Throughput Study Group.
IEEE is just beginning to work on defining the requirements for the new 802.11 Wi-Fi standard
For now, we do not know much about the new Wi-Fi network standard. The newly established working group will focus on defining the technical requirements for the new standard. It is only known that the considered solutions will use bands from 1 GHz to 7.125 GHz. The new standard will certainly use the 5 GHz – 5.8 GHz band, which is already used today. Perhaps the group will also propose to use frequencies above 6 GHz. However, it will definitely not be a technology using the millimeter band (e.g. 60 GHz).
However, ultra-fast data transmission is not everything. The IEEE 802.11 Real Time Applications Topic Interest Group has also been established, which focuses on applications that do not require high bit rate but are sensitive to delays. Here, the work is focused on factors that affect the loss of packets and change delays in their transmission. Network games are a good example of such applications. The so-called jitter and packet loss cause, the well-known for players, lags, which significantly annoy the gameplay. However, that’s not all. The new 802.11 standards will also be developed for automated production lines that will be able to use the Wi-Fi network in the future.
As you read about this, you probably associated the above applications with 5G networks. You have the most right here. IEEE is thinking about new 802.11 standards that could compete with 5G in some applications. However, the construction of a Wi-Fi network using new technology should be much cheaper than 5G. In my opinion, both technologies will complement each other and not compete. 802.11 standards will be used in homes and production halls, while 5G will provide connectivity to these buildings.