February 23, 2018 by Pam Ferguson

802.11ax: Tackling Device Density in the Connected Home


In our blog series on the Connected Home, I’ve highlighted some of the most significant findings from the new white paper by Parks Associates, and assessed the state of home Wi-Fi through the lens of these findings.

In my most recent post, I talked about how service providers can boost consumer confidence by enhancing security to the edge. And before that, I highlighted the opportunity for service providers to raise the bar for home Wi-Fi by taking specific steps to provide consumers with an enhanced Wi-Fi experience.

In this post I want to conclude the series by examining one final topic: the evolution of the Wi-Fi standard itself, from 802.11ac, which is widely deployed today, to 802.11ax, the latest iteration of the standard that will soon be making its way to the market in various devices. 

These include the newly-designed Calix EXOS-powered GigaFamily smart home premises systems, which will feature 802.11ax Wi-Fi technology. Made specifically for service providers, the Calix EXOS-powered GigaFamily portfolio will be available later in 2018.

As we’ve seen from the Park Associates research, home Wi-Fi can be the source of a wide range of technical and performance challenges, whether it’s interference from nearby routers, the distance of the device from the router, the construction materials used in our homes, etc. Into this environment comes the new 802.11ax standard, and it does offer some notable performance improvements.

For starters, it improves spectral efficiency, which results in an increase in user throughput that is four times that of 802.11ac. It also provides longer-range coverage and reduces interference at both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, and supports IoT transmission efficiency and greater power savings.

Perhaps most importantly, the new standard focuses on providing users with optimal performance in environments that have a large number of connected devices. One such area, of course, is the Connected Home. As noted in the white paper, U.S. broadband homes currently average 9.1 connected devices, but this number is expected to rise significantly as consumers add more and more smart devices to their networks. 802.11ax technology will be essential for ensuring consumers enjoy a high-quality Connected Home experience.

Get your copy of the white paper today

To find out more about the benefits of the 802.11ax standard, and learn about the service provider opportunity in the Connected Home, download your free copy of the white paper today.