What is Wi-Fi 6?
Wi-Fi 6, known technically as 802.11ax, is the most recent generation of Wi-Fi. Building on the previous standards, Wi-Fi 6 offers increased speed, efficiency, and overall performance, although the average user may not notice the difference straight away. It operates in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands and aims to provide a better user experience in environments with many connected devices.
Key Features & The Impact of Wi-Fi 6 on Field Workers
1. Increased Speed
Wi-Fi 6 boasts speeds up to 9.6 Gbps, a significant increase from the 3.5 Gbps offered by Wi-Fi 5. While the numbers are theoretical maximums, users will experience a noticeable improvement in data transfer rates. Field workers can benefit from these faster data transfer speeds, ensuring they can access and upload critical information more efficiently, even in remote locations.
2. Improved Efficiency
Beyond the top speeds offered, one of the standout features of Wi-Fi 6 is OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access). This technology enables more devices to connect to the network simultaneously without slowing the connection.
In highly populated areas, such as public Wi-Fi hotspots, Wi-Fi 6 provides smoother and more reliable connections. That's a critical milestone, and it comes at a vital juncture; when Wi-Fi 5 was launched, the average first-world country household had approximately 5 Wi-Fi devices connected. Today, homes are equipped with an average of 9 Wi-Fi devices, and industry experts forecast that this number will surge to an average of 50 within the coming years.
Moreover, for field workers operating in rugged terrains or remote areas, this means they can maintain a stable connection and access resources without interruptions, given they often use multiple devices simultaneously, such as tablets, smartphones, and ruggedised equipment. They can also engage in video conferences, access remote expert guidance, and use augmented reality applications with minimal delay, improving productivity and decision-making.
3. Improved Battery Life
Wi-Fi 6 introduces Target Wake Time (TWT), which allows devices to negotiate when and how often they will wake up to send or receive data. This leads to better battery life in smartphones, laptops, and other battery-powered devices, allowing field workers to stay connected throughout their shifts without worrying about constantly recharging their devices.
4. Enhanced Security
Security is paramount for field workers, especially when handling sensitive data in various industries. With Wi-Fi 6, security has been bolstered with the inclusion of WPA3, the latest encryption protocol. This ensures a safer connection, especially vital in an age where cybersecurity threats are increasing.
Wi-Fi 6 in the Australian Context
With its robust set of features, Wi-Fi 6 is expected to significantly impact various sectors in Australia, from residential homes to large enterprises and public spaces.
Australian homeowners will enjoy faster and more reliable connections with Wi-Fi 6, and with the rise of smart home devices, a network that can handle multiple connections efficiently is a welcome addition. Note that Wi-Fi updates need new hardware, not just a software update. But you won't need to rush to buy new devices just for the latest Wi-Fi version. It's not a game-changing update.
Instead, as you replace your gadgets over the next few years, you'll naturally acquire those with Wi-Fi 6 included.
Wi-Fi 6 opens new opportunities for businesses, with its enhanced speed and efficiency enabling smoother video conferences, faster data transfers, and improved overall productivity. This is particularly crucial as remote working becomes increasingly prevalent in the Australian business landscape.
Public places such as airports, malls, and coffee shops will benefit from the increased capacity of Wi-Fi 6, offering visitors a seamless and enjoyable online experience. Major cities like Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane are expected to lead the way in adopting this technology in public spaces.
Upgrading to Wi-Fi 6
As we saw, the key features of Wi-Fi 6 contribute to increased productivity, safety, and efficiency in various industries, making WiFi 6 a valuable asset for field operations. Transitioning to Wi-Fi 6 requires both a compatible router and client devices. While many new gadgets are already Wi-Fi 6 enabled, upgrading existing routers may be necessary to enjoy the full benefits of this technology. Manufacturers have already started offering Wi-Fi 6 routers in Australia, and with the increasing demand, prices are expected to become more affordable.
As we embrace this new era of connectivity, Wi-Fi 6 proves to be more than just an incremental upgrade to obtain the latest technology, it's about investing in a future where connectivity is faster, more reliable, and more secure.
By staying ahead of the technological curve, Australia continues to demonstrate its commitment to innovation and excellence in the field of information technology. If you or your team is interested in more information or assistance with Wi-Fi 6, call our team for assistance on 1300 131 933, or get in touch with us online.