Wi-Fi 6? You’re probably thinking: I didn’t even know about the previous five versions. One of our more recent posts highlighted how 5G has become such a valuable tool, that its popularity has reached a level even underneath the surface of the Earth; its use has even reached a Swedish mine. However, while you were dazzled by this progress in the field of 5G, you may have missed the incoming rise of Wifi 6 as some call the Better and faster internet. Let us explain why it is bound to be a success, but also why the political ramifications could prove vital in a geopolitical sense – China, Russia and the United States are listening attentively. Are you?
Most people have heard of 5G, the latest standard for mobile data that is being built around the world. What is it that has driven the silence around the big, incoming innovation of Wifi 6? Why do we know the specific generation of cellular network technology but become ignorant about the versions of wireless local area networking? The Wifi Alliance, which is the non-profit body that promotes and possesses the Wi-Fi trademark, has decided to stop with the cumbersome digit-letter combinations denoting the various versions and has taken the road of simplification. Let us ask the readers if you could place the following Wi-Fi versions in order: 802.11n, 802.11ax and 802.11ac? Simple, right? Now that they have decided upon the name, we can comment on what this entails.
The correct answer to the question above is 802.11ax, but as we now shall call it Wi-Fi 6. Wi-Fi 6, is the new wireless standard that provides more efficient use of the wireless network. Wi-Fi 6 was launched in the fall of 2018, and promises download speeds of up to 10 gigabits per second which is between four and ten times faster than the networks of previous generations. However, the certification of the final 802.11ax standard seems to be at least a year away with most speculating on a date around September 2020. In order to use Wi-Fi 6, consumers must purchase new routers, computers and mobiles with support for the technology and just to avoid confusion and to be precise, it is already possible to acquire Wi-Fi 6, but what is sold today has not been set as standard and it may well be possible that there are adjustments to what would be considered as the final form of the version.
You’re probably curious about how fast the new version will be, which according to CNET, is around 30% faster than the current version, Wi-Fi 5. Yes, the speed of sending and receiving data are important but with Wi-Fi 6 , capacity is key. More capacity allows users to operate multiple devices on the network, and they offer completely new capabilities, such as building IoT (Internet of Things) networks for added value with data retrieval or a more modern workplace where employees can move away from their stationary workstations and transition to mobile devices. With 5G, it opens two new doors instead of opening just one and closing the other. Per Samuelsson, the CEO at Cisco Sweden, believes that 5G and Wi-Fi 6 do not cancel each other out but rather complement each other, and they together will increase the performance in places with many simultaneously connected devices, such as hospitals, hotels or sports arenas. Furthermore, the overarching implications of Wi-Fi appearing on the world stage is that, together with 5G, will be the next big shift in connection and data. . .
The political ramifications could heat up. In March of this year, nearly 57 percent of the world’s population had access to the Internet, according to the Internet World States. Digital connectivity – and those who control the infrastructure – will become an increasingly important political power factor. Many countries, especially China and the United States, are already fighting for control. As we’ve mentioned numerous times in other articles, the 5G wars and scandals may reach another level of severity. Trade wars? How about “wars of connectivity and data” . . .
When it comes to 5G, critical voices among telecom operators and experts are being raised about the fact that Sweden, and the whole of Europe, is at risk of falling behind when the new standard is rolled out as North America and Asia have progressed considerably further with China taking centre stage. Just two days ago, Bloomberg came out with an article detailing China\’s prominence and its current lead in this war. For Europe – not so good. This in turn could lead to Europe losing competitiveness compared to the rest of the world. In Sweden, questions about further digitalisation and whether Wi-Fi 6 could give Sweden an edge on a governmental level are currently being addressed. According to Per Samuelsson, this needs to be done. No more silence, Wi-Fi 6 is shouting to be heard. Who will listen?
Evolvera – to evolve in a new era.