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By: Chris Voll on November 6th, 2018

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How to Supercharge Your Business' Network with 802.11ax (WiFi 6)

wifi

Businessperson touching WiFi iconYou’ve heard about the latest WiFi standard set to be completed by 2019, but how will its benefits translate into real results for your business?

By July 2019, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) plans to finish its 802.11ax WiFi standards — also known simply as WiFi 6 — the latest in a series of standards that the IEEE has put out every five years since the release of the 802.11 in 1997. Though it’s generally understood that the update will bring faster WiFi speeds, not everyone is clear on exactly what WiFi 6 is and how it will change enterprise IT.

This latest release is designed specifically in response to issues many enterprises are experiencing with network overuse as the number of devices and endpoints each network is expected to support continues to grow. WiFi 6 offers up to 10G speed, but perhaps more critically, it’s engineered to provide better thoroughfare — that is, to ensure that speed and connectivity are less impacted by high numbers of users. This should provide a much needed boost to networks worn down by the increasingly high demands of the modern workplace.

But beyond these abstract benefits, how will this latest standard from the IEEE play out for businesses in practical terms? Let’s take a look at some of the new advantages, and potential applications that could benefit your enterprise as a result.

 

WiFi 6 Means Faster Connections, Better Application Performance

The most important benefit that most enterprises will see from WiFi 6 is faster speeds and better application performance in high-density workspaces. For example, open plan offices are trendy at the moment, but they also tend to put excessive pressure on network performance. The upgrade will bring these areas, as well as other high-density areas like trading floors and call centers, a considerable uptick in performance by bringing access to applications far faster, even as the number of connected devices continues to increase.

 

Better Support for Bandwidth-Intensive Tech

Technologies like augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence all represent new tools that modern enterprises will use to compete with one another in the near future, but they all require intense levels of bandwidth to perform adequately. WiFi 6 offers the kind of throughput and low latency that these technologies need to power next-gen business services like telemedicine in healthcare, remote field support in the oil and gas industries, and product visualizers in retail.

 

Greater IT/IoT integration

Internet of Things (IoT) devices are slightly different from devices like laptops and smartphones in that they need service that is either deterministic or low-power. Whereas previous WiFi standards required special devices to offer this kind of service, WiFi 6 will offer low-power and determinism in order to accelerate IoT adoption across industries.

 

How Businesses Can Prepare for WiFi 6

If your enterprise needs enhanced IT capacities like these, you’ll likely need to ensure your access points are WFA-compliant and compatible with the new WiFi 6 standards. You should also ensure that IT has all the visibility it needs to consistently match users to the right access points as they move. Finally, an enterprise network equipped with the latest standards in WiFi should also be equipped to handle the latest security threats.

While making all these adjustments can seem daunting, with the help of an experienced networking partner like Turn-key Technologies, it doesn’t have to be. Our certified team of experts can assess and provide recommendations to improve your wireless connectivity. We can also help you put the latest and most stringent security protocols in place to ensure your upgraded infrastructure is safe for both your employees and your customers. No matter the size or structure of your enterprise, we can help you usher in the new age in WiFI.