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Jul 11, 2023
3 min

Wi-Fi 6: The Game Changer for Winning in Your Market

Our Wi-Fi dependence continues to grow—with no signs of slowing down. 92 percent of U.S. households use Wi-Fi to access the internet, and over one quarter value service over price. And Wi-Fi makes up 31 percent of all IoT connections, with over half of the globally shipped Wi-Fi devices in 2022 based on Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E.

These trends are clearly good for service providers. More connected devices mean greater demand for bandwidth, which drives adoption of premium high-speed internet packages. Service providers must capitalize on this opportunity by devising a clear Wi-Fi evolution strategy—one that understands the Wi-Fi experience is representative of the entire experience with a broadband provider.

Not surprisingly, a key pillar of this strategy ensures subscribers have the most sophisticated Wi-Fi equipment available. With it, they can take advantage of the latest and greatest features and performance improvements. Even better, you can provide that equipment and fully manage the entire internet experience.

The Wi-Fi 6 standard (or 802.11ax) is the latest iteration of the IEEE Wi-Fi standard. It implements more than 50 new features since the 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) version. Also known as the high-efficiency wireless (HEW) standard, Wi-Fi 6 focuses on improving Wi-Fi efficiency, capacity, and performance, especially in the kinds of dense environments we encounter today. Think football stadiums, university campuses, and our rapidly evolving connected homes.

What are some of the top features of Wi-Fi 6?

  • Faster speeds. While the focus is on efficiency, Wi-Fi6 provides up to a fourfold increase in peak speeds.
  • Better performance in dense environments. Wi-Fi 6 includes several features that improve performance in dense Wi-Fi environments, including BSS Coloring and OFDMA.
  • Support for 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Like 802.11ac, which only supports the 5GHz band, the new standard supports both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and is also backwards compatible with all previous releases of the standard (802.11a/b/g/n/ac).
  • Improved outdoor performance. Wi-Fi 6 increases the guard interval and makes subcarrier spacing four times narrower, which provides higher spectral efficiency and allows for transmission over longer distances.
  • Reduced power consumption. A new feature called Target Wait Time (TWT) makes it possible for devices to remain powered off when they are not transmitting data. This is especially important for IoT devices that transmit data infrequently.
  • Downlink and uplink OFDMA. OFDMA stands for orthogonal frequency-division multiple access. OFDMA is an important new feature that enables multiple users with varying bandwidth needs to be served by the access point simultaneously on both the downlink and the uplink.

With plenty of new features, Wi-Fi 6 is the current mainstay of most connected technologies. Don’t leave your subscribers frustrated whether they use your equipment or their own devices. Bake Wi-Fi 6 into your strategy from the beginning—and prepare to evolve as technology changes down the road. It will help you ensure that subscribers receive the best experience possible, which is how you create loyalty and stickiness to your brand.

To learn more about Wi-Fi 6, download our white paper today

Senior Marketing Manager, Segment Marketing

Susan Higgins is the senior marketing manager, segment marketing at Calix. Susan supports the wireless ISP (WISP) segment and brings over 25 years of experience in telecommunications, focusing on communications, market research, strategy, and sales enablement. Before Calix, Susan worked for Frontier Communications, Verizon Wholesale, and Sprint. Susan holds a B.A. in mathematics and psychology, an MBA in B2B marketing, a professional diploma in customer experience, and is a certified digital marketing professional (AMA+DMI).

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