WBA Declares WiFi 6 Is Ready for Carrier Network Deployment


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Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), the worldwide industry body dedicated to improving WiFi services and standards, yesterday announced the conclusion of five trial deployments of WiFi 6 across diverse markets. The deployments show that WiFi 6, with wider channels up to 160 MHz, and capacity up to 9.6 Gbps (compared to 3.5 Gbps in WiFi 5), can enable nearly three times faster gigabit data rates. 

The WBA claimed tests proved WiFi 6 can deliver better reliability, lower latency, more deterministic behavior, and better network efficiency, especially in environments with many connected devices. The Alliance predicted WiFi 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 WiFi 6 in live networks, establishing its readiness for carrier WiFi deployments around the world. This lays the foundation for deployment of WiFi 6 in enterprises, homes, schools, transportation hubs, travellers and the Internet of Things (IoT).

“These successful deployments prove the strength of WiFi 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 WiFi 6 for carrier deployments, and the WBA continues to develop and expand new trials that support WiFi 6 and 6E expansion into new areas in different geographies around the world.”

 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 WiFi 6 in a dense industrial environment with heavy metal, high temperatures and moving machinery, where previous generations of WiFi did not perform well. The WiFi 6 trial demonstrated much improved reliability, coverage, throughput and lower latency for supporting mission critical applications.

  • High-density malls: SK Telecom deployed WiFi 6 to improve connectivity for consumers, increase quality of experience (QoE) for densely populated areas and provide high throughput for immersive media services. WiFi 6 reduced latency by 80 percent, 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 WiFi 6 in a mixed-use residential area to increase the user experience in a WiFi loaded network. In this trial, WiFi 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 WiFi 6 in a rural school trial in India to enhance new learning technologies, and improve signal coverage and streaming performance. WiFi 6 improved throughput by more than 50 percent throughout the network.
  • Transportation hubs like John Wayne Airport: In the U.S, Boingo, Cisco and Samsung worked together to launch WiFi 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 WiFi 6 technologies from trials to commercial operations and most recently, Boingo has announced an airport-wide commercial deployment of WiFi 6 at São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport (GRU), delivering incredibly fast speeds and low latency to passengers, according to the WBA.

   “WiFi 6 is a strategic pillar of Boingo’s technology roadmap to elevate wireless performance and equip airports and other large venues with connectivity solutions for the 5G world. WiFi 6 meets key 5G requirements to power a broad range of connected use cases in dense environments with greater capacity, speed and scalability. We are pleased to be among the first to put WiFi 6 in action and move the technology from lab to real-world launch,” said Dr Derek Peterson, Chief Technology Officer – Boingo Wireless.

Eric McLaughlin, General Manager Wireless Solutions Group – Intel Corporation said, “The WBA trials demonstrate how WiFi 6 addresses connectivity challenges in real-world deployments. We look forward to ongoing collaboration with the industry to enable the best connectivity solutions for today and in the future.”

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