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WI-FI 6

WI-FI 6 IS HERE SO NOW WHAT WILL YOU BE TESTING?

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Mark Mullins

Earlier this year, the IEEE released its 802.11ax Enhancements for High Efficiency Wireless (HEW) LAN standard, known commonly as Wi-Fi 6. This new advanced Wi-Fi application is positioned to theoretically deliver close to 10 Gig transmission through the use of eight spatial streams that each transmit at 1.2 Gbps compared to Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) at just 866 Mbps per spatial stream. It also has the ability to operate in both the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands.

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W

hen the introduction of Wi-Fi 5 finally gave us wireless speeds beyond 1 Gbps, 2.5GBASE-T and 5GBASE-T were introduced by the IEEE to allow the installed base of Category 5e and Category 6 to potentially provide support. However, not all existing Cat 5e and 6 cable plants are guaranteed to support 2.5/5GBASE-T to 100 metres, and they must be tested to ensure compliance. With Wi-Fi 6 devices hitting the market, now what will you need to test to?

It takes two While the first wave of Wi-Fi 6 products may be supported by 2.5 or 5GBASE-T, as the second and third wave of products hit the market and push speeds beyond 5 Gbps, two 5GBASE-T connections may be required to each wireless access point to support link aggregation. And as the technology continues to advance and eventually deliver its maximum theoretical throughput, each Wi-Fi

AUGUST 2019 - ECD [ELECTRICAL+COMMS+DATA] 29

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