OnQ Blog

How 802.11ax will revolutionize Wi-Fi

Feb 22, 2017

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Just a few days ago, we announced the first 802.11ax end-to-end commercial product solution. With solutions for both the network infrastructure (IPQ8074) and device (QCA6290) ecosystems, we’re poised once again, to lead in defining the next generation of connectivity technologies.

So what’s so special about 11ax? How’s it going to make my individual experience better? Is it fundamentally different than 11ac or previous iterations of Wi-Fi technology?

Yes, 11ax is special. It’s special because it’s a very different approach to solving some of the most pressing density-created issues impacting Wi-Fi performance today. Density refers to how networks are increasingly asked to support more devices than ever before, as well as how networks overlap each other in neighborhoods, apartment buildings, etc.

This trend, of course, is a happy validation of the ubiquitous success of Wi-Fi throughout homes, businesses, and well … everywhere. While routers and gateways in the home support, perhaps, dozens of devices, the challenges are far greater in train stations, office buildings, universities, hospitals, and airports where hundreds or thousands of devices need to connect.

11ax was developed to address this issue in whole new ways. Expanding on 802.11ac to now support 8x8 MU-MIMO, 11ax also folds in technologies like OFDMA, which is designed to optimize traffic for more efficient use of the available spectrum, more akin to how LTE networks work.

All this techno-speak really boils down to one thing. 11ax changes the game from delivering speed (theoretical maximum rate of data transfer) to maximizing capacity (how much data can be moved to the maximum number of users in the shortest period of time).

As you can see, capacity is what matters most in delivering the best connected experience in today’s dense environments. It should be no surprise that Qualcomm Technologies is the first to announce an end-to-end solution for 11ax. Beyond our well known history of technology leadership driving new wireless technologies (802.11ac with MU-MIMO, 802.11ad, Qualcomm Wi-Fi SON), we have a deep, rich pedigree in the core technologies defining 11ax and its revolutionary capabilities: OFDMA, MU-MIMO, and more.

We’re looking forward to sharing updates with you as we move toward the commercial launch of 11ax later this year. Sign up for our networking newsletter to keep up with the latest.

IPQ8074, QCA6290, Qualcomm Wi-Fi, and Qualcomm Wi-Fi SON are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

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