Wi-Fi Alliance Simplifies Wi-Fi Naming Scheme With Upcoming 'Wi-Fi 6' Release

The Wi-Fi Alliance, dedicated to developing new wireless networking standards, is planning to make Wi-Fi naming simpler with the upcoming launch of the newest Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax.

802.11ax will be known as "Wi-Fi 6," making it easier for Wi-Fi users to understand the difference between 802.11ax, 802.11ac, and 802.11n.


With the launch of Wi-Fi 6, 802.11ac will be known as "Wi-Fi 5," while 802.11n will be known as "Wi-Fi 4."

"For nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions to determine if their devices support the latest Wi-Fi," said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance. "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."

Wi-Fi 6 will introduce higher data rates, increased capacity, better performance in dense environments like concerts and sporting events, and improved power efficiency so Wi-Fi won't eat up as much battery on future devices.

In 802.11ax tests, speeds of up to 4.8Gbit/s over the 5GHz band have been reached. In demonstrations at CES, speeds maxed out at 11Gbit/s.

The new capabilities being introduced are outlined below, as specified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

  • Uplink and downlink orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) increases efficiency and lowers latency for high demand environments
  • 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM) enables peak gigabit speeds for emerging, bandwidth-intensive use cases
  • Improved medium access control (MAC) control signaling increases throughput and capacity while reducing latency
  • Increased symbol durations make outdoor network operations more robust

Wi-Fi 6 is expected to provide performance improvements to smart home setups with multiple Internet of Things devices, as well as businesses and those running large-scale deployments. The Wi-Fi 6 standard is expected to be finalized next year.

Tag: wi-fi

Top Rated Comments

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22 months ago
should call it WiFi 802.11 XS Max
Score: 50 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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22 months ago
I support this wholeheartedly... Having to do tech support for family and friends is tedious with the technobabble. This just makes a lot of sense.
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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22 months ago
Wi-Fi 7: wifi awakens
Wi-Fi 8: the last wifi
Score: 34 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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22 months ago
Que all the questions of. Will my 802.11n device work with WiFi 5? What's better 802.11 ac or WiFi 5?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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22 months ago
Wow its almost like they took a page out of Apples naming convention book
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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22 months ago
This is "meh". All it does is create the false illusion that the higher number is better. It's not, in all cases. On a very basic level, a higher number is better, but for example, people would absolutely prefer WiFi4 over WiFi5 in a large house, as the 802.11ac signal strength is weak.

If we are to believe that all future versions of WiFi - for example, WiFi7 - would both increase in signal strength, power, distance, speed, etc - then I'm all for this, otherwise it's the same problem we have now with a different name. With the way the 802.11 protocol has worked so far, this hasn't proven true, there are often revisions that focus more on speed or power, but rarely both.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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