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WiFi 6 Promises to Make WiFi Standards Easier to Understand

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Oct 3, 2018, 7:55 AM   by Eric M. Zeman
updated Oct 3, 2018, 7:59 AM

The WiFi Alliance today announced WiFi 6, a new name and release for the wireless networking standard that the Alliance hopes will clarify which devices can work together to offer the best experience. WiFi 6 is based on the 802.11ax spec. Devices that are designated as WiFi 6 will support all WiFi technology up to 802.11ax. The new naming scheme is retroactive. For example, WiFi 5 will indicate devices that support up to 802.11ac, and WiFi 4 will mark devices that support up to 802.11n. The naming scheme should help consumers, who will no longer have to understand the exact specification. Moving forward, devices will be able to indicate which version of WiFi they support and which actual connection is made between a phone or other device and a hotspot. This information can appear in on-screen connection menus for clarity. In addition to the new name, the WiFi Alliance says WiFi 6 "will deliver an improved experience to address device and application needs in a range of consumer and enterprise environments." The Alliance expects the new generational terminology to be widely adopted by the WiFi ecosystem. WiFi Certified 6 certification and devices will arrive in 2019.


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