After a fair amount of build up, WiFi 6 certification is rolling out today. With this certification comes the promise of better and faster WiFi, just in time for the arrival of 5G and home networks powered by it. Of course, there are a number of manufacturers who didn’t wait for the WiFi Alliance to launch this certification program, but now that it’s here, devices can go through the process and carry official branding afterward.
Indeed, throughout the year, many device makers have been launching WiFi 6 devices. WiFi 6 was first announced back in October 2018, nearly a year ago. In the time since then, we’ve seen a number of routers supporting WiFi 6, including a quartet of new Nighthawk routers from Netgear that were revealed way back in April.
WiFi 6 adoption isn’t limited to just routers either, with the Galaxy S10 becoming one of the first smartphones to use the new standard. In its announcement today, the WiFi Alliance says that the Galaxy Note 10 is the first WiFi 6 certified smartphone, but it’s also worth noting that the new iPhones that are launching this week support the standard as well.
Obviously, one of the big draws of WiFi 6 should be improved speeds, but IoT is actually a big focus of the new standard to. Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA) is a key feature of WiFi 6, which “effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments.” Going hand-in-hand with that are WiFi 6’s improvements to target wake time (TWT), which should increase battery life in WiFi-connected devices as well.
WiFi 6 also lays the groundwork for 5G home networks too, with the WiFi Alliance saying today that this certification “delivers critical connectivity that supports cellular networks, and leverages high speeds, low latency, power efficiency, greater capacity, and enhanced coverage to deliver many advanced 5G services.” Support for WiFi 6 is certainly starting out small, but now that this certification has arrived, we’ll see more and more devices that support the new standard. Stay tuned.