Wifi 6’s time is now, says Quectel

  • March 9, 2022
  • imc
Dominikus Hierl

Dominikus Hierl, SVP of sales for Emea at Quectel, discusses what we can expect from Wifi 6.

Wifi 6 will be critical to the hyper-connected future for enterprises because the technology offers superior speed, can support more devices and has much lower latency than Wifi 5.

And Wifi 6 is already a proven technology. According to IDC, 79% of all wifi shipments will support Wifi 6 in the next two years, up from half of all shipments in 2021. More than 3.5 billion Wifi 6 devices are expected to be shipped this year.

In its 2021 study of advanced wireless adoption, consulting firm Deloitte found that global network decision makers regarded Wifi 6 and Wifi 5 as the most critical wireless technologies for their business initiatives. The 2020 version of the report cited 4G and LTE and earlier wifi technologies as being most critical. No doubt, the next version of the study will focus on Wifi 6, particularly with its advanced capabilities to handle the growing demand for reliable connectivity to take advantage of new and emerging 5G services.

Wifi 6 technology uses orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), which supports high-density deployments. This technology offers the bandwidth necessary for multiple users accessing the network simultaneously, helping reduce power consumption of devices while also providing high-quality connectivity.

So, anyone buying Wifi 5 devices today should seriously reconsider. Those devices will soon be outdated, with the advantages going to the enterprises that chose the faster, newer Wifi 6, which will support unified communications, cloud computing, augmented and virtual reality, as well as telepresence, all critical capabilities for the forward-looking enterprise of the future.

With the high data rates, low latency and high network density that Wifi 6 offers, it is ideal for video applications that need high throughput as well as for those needing to support a large number of connected devices. Just a few of the use cases:

  • For enterprises, Wifi 6 offers improved connectivity for employees, guests and visitors as well as to different smart devices within an office, factory, warehouse or other facility. Wifi 6 is often a more cost-effective approach for deploying Industry 4.0 smart manufacturing than cellular. The advantages of the technology will spur enterprises to purchase 13.4 million of the devices in 2026, up from 4.3 million in 2021, according to ABI Research.
  • According to Deloitte, municipalities are already using a combination of Wifi 6 and Wifi 5 to provide critical communications, including real-time traffic monitoring and to provide personalised alerts to anyone in a pre-defined, geofenced, area.
  • Similarly, sports stadia have deployed Wifi 6 and Wifi 5 to provide a more immersive experience, enabling tens of thousands of fans in a single location to have access to social sharing, order concessions, have access to the latest statistics and for a variety of other uses. The installation of Wifi 6 access points and analytics support for Manchester United at Old Trafford will begin later this year and will provide fast, reliable wifi connectivity for fans, while increasing the club’s capability to deliver high-performance, low-latency and secure digital services.
  • Healthcare is using Wifi 6 to provide real-time, remote patient monitoring, telehealth, and remote healthcare procedures using medical robots.
  • Connected cars are prime candidates for Wifi 6 connectivity. According to an Ericsson report, the connected car market will exceed $166bn by 2025. These vehicles will rely on Wifi 6 connectivity for efficient wifi connectivity throughout the vehicle, with the technology supporting ultra-high definition (ultra-HD) video streaming on multiple displays, screen mirroring from compatible devices and wireless back-up cameras. Beyond those in-vehicle devices, Wifi 6’s full MIMO client capability offers high data rates at extended ranges, essential for connecting to external access points for critical automotive services, including vehicle diagnostics, software updates and automatic check-ins at dealerships.

The trend towards Wifi 6 is clear. To optimise Wifi 6 performance, enterprises, municipalities and others will want to use industrial-grade modules designed to deliver faster, more secure and more robust wifi experiences as well as new Bluetooth audio capabilities. The modules should be designed to provide enhanced performance in capacity, data rates, latency, power consumption and coverage. They bring premium wireless performance to a variety of consumer, industrial and automotive applications, such as smart homes, smart TVs, over-the-top (OTT) devices, industrial controls and customer premises equipment (CPE).