WiFi 6 is coming, here is how it works


WiFi Alliance rebrands 802.11ax as WiFi 6 to simplify networking names for users, the next-generation of wireless networking to come next year

WiFi Alliance rebrands 802.11 standard to simplify networking names (Image of Mi Router for representation)

The WiFi Alliance has announced the rebranding of 802.11 Wi-Fi standards. While earlier WiFi versions were identified by a pair of letters, these ‘convoluted codenames’ will now be called WiFi 3, WiFi 4 and so forth. The current 802.11ac WiFi standard will be known as WiFi 5, while the next generation 802.11ax will be called WiFi 6. WiFi Alliance has adopted the numbers to help users know whether the device or router they are purchasing is up-to-date.

The WiFi Alliance is bringing this new approach to make the wireless networking terms more useful and help manufacturers, operators to market easily. Apparently, the WiFi 5 successor WiFi 802.11ax aka WiFi 6 won’t require the extra wireless antenna and instead, it will make use of 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. Wi-Fi 6 is said to deliver up to 11Gbps speeds across three or more devices. The next-gen WiFi 6 devices are expected to release next year.

“Wi-Fi Alliance is excited to introduce Wi-Fi 6, and present a new naming scheme to help industry and Wi-Fi users easily understand the Wi-Fi generation supported by their device or connection,” WiFi Alliance CEO Edgar Figueroa in a statement told VentureBeat.

The company expects the new terminology to be widely used by the ‘WiFi ecosystem.’ The Alliance said that while there were earlier 802.11a, 802.11b and 802.11g standards, the company will not retroactively use Wi-Fi 1 to 3 to identify generations that have somewhat faded in the background. The certification programme for the new WiFi standard will come in 2019, as per the report.


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