With an ever-growing number of devices using Wi-Fi along with the Internet of Things, Wi-Fi networks need to be capable of managing dense usage, increased data traffic, and a diverse mix of applications and services with differing needs. The IEEE 802.11ax standard is specifically designed for such dense connectivity and variability. Qualcomm Technologies was the first company to announce end-to-end commercial solutions supporting 802.11ax specifications. Our IEEE 802.11ax solutions offer up to a 4x increase in capacity and a significant improvement in efficiency to deliver an excellent Wi-Fi user experience.

Substantially higher capacity.

In the past, the evolution of Wi-Fi was focused primarily on achieving successively higher peak (theoretical) speeds. However, in the real world, with lots of users with diverse needs, a network needs to be designed to deliver an excellent experience to every user. The problem isn’t how fast Wi-Fi can go, but whether or not the Wi-Fi network has enough capacity to handle the growing demand for many different connected devices and services. 802.11ax is designed to improve the way Wi-Fi networks work by adding substantially higher capacity, better coverage, and reduced congestion, delivering a better user experience to all users.

* Based on Qualcomm Technologies simulations. Up to 4x increase in median throughputs in dense scenarios compared to 4x4 11ac wave 2. Assumptions: 11ax with 8x8 AP and 2x2 clients; UL and DL MU-MIMO; long OFDM symbol.

Engineered to increase capacity in a variety of environments.

802.11ax standards and specifications are designed to adapt Wi-Fi for dense usage scenarios, with dozens of devices connected simultaneously to each access point, working in the environment with multiple interfering access points in the vicinity. Using proven Wi-Fi techniques and innovations from the cellular world (such as LTE), the 802.11ax standard is engineered to increase capacity by up to 4x, along with improving efficiency and coverage, to benefit both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands in a variety of environments: homes, schools, businesses, hotspots, airports, and more.


802.11ax supports up to 8x8 MU-MIMO in both downlink and uplink, which allows it to serve up to 8 users simultaneously for a significant capacity boost. MU-MIMO also benefits the performance of legacy devices (such as 802.11ac Wave 2 and older devices) to improve every device’s experience.


802.11ax uses 4G LTE’s proven and foundational OFDMA technology for efficient access. OFDMA allows multiple users with varying bandwidth needs to be served simultaneously.

Uplink resource scheduler

Instead of the traditional unmanaged approach, where users compete with one another to send data in uplink, 802.11ax schedules them so that they don’t clash with each other. This managed approach results in better resource utilization and an impressive increase in efficiency.


Target Wakeup Time (TWT) is another important resource scheduling feature supported by 11ax. It allows devices to negotiate when and how often they will wake up to send or receive data. TWT increases device sleep time and, in turn, substantially improves battery life.

Qualcomm 802.11ax Documents

Qualcomm 11ax

May 14, 2018


View our 802.11ax Wi-Fi products.


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