Next-Generation wireless connectivity technologies. 5G and Wi-Fi 6 -gigabit speeds and low latency.

For years, two different types of wireless technology have coexisted. Wi-Fi is a type of local area network (LAN) used primarily indoors—for example, inside a home or workplace. Cellular networks, like the 4G LTE networks used by major operators, are a type of wide area network (WAN) used both indoors and outdoors, generally over long distances.

Both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are complementary technologies that provide higher speeds, lower latency, and increased capacity over their predecessors.

Machine-to-machine communication plays a key role in factory automation, While Wi-Fi 6 may work for a managed manufacturing operation, 5G may augment a large, campus-wide manufacturing environment.

The next generation of the Wi-Fi standard is Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, the latest step in a journey of nonstop innovation. The standard builds on the strengths of 802.11ac while adding efficiency, flexibility, and scalability that allows new and existing networks increased speed and capacity with next-generation applications.

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) proposed the Wi-Fi 6 standard so it can couple the freedom and high speed of Gigabit Ethernet wireless with the reliability and predictability found in licensed radio.

5G networks will provide 50x more speed, 10x less latency, and 1,000x more capacity than 4G/LTE.1 This means 5G will be able to connect more devices and transmit more data than ever before, delivering fast connectivity and significantly enhanced user experiences. As with LTE, mobile carriers will offer subscriptions to their 5G network, which requires 5G-capable devices.

Wi-Fi 6, based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard, will deliver 4x higher capacity and 75 percent lower latency, offering nearly triple the speed of its predecessor, Wi-Fi 5.

The Wi-Fi Alliance started a campaign to coin the term “Wi-Fi 6” when referring to the IEEE 802.11ax standard. It indicates that it is the sixth generation of Wi-Fi. The premise was to simplify the marketing message to help 802.11ax be better positioned relative to the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) standards used in cellular (such as 5G).

Wi-Fi uses unlicensed spectrum, so you and your whole neighborhood can each have your own Wi-Fi network without getting a license to use it. However, this can mean your Wi-Fi performance is impacted by how many neighbors are using their network at the same time and on the same channel as you. When used in offices and other enterprise environments, Wi-Fi tends to be heavily managed to meet a desired performance goal.

Wi-Fi 6 will build on the success of 802.11ac. It will let access points support more clients in dense environments and will provide a better experience for typical wireless LAN networks. It will also provide a more predictable performance for advanced applications such as 4K or 8K video, high-density high-definition collaboration apps, all-wireless offices, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Wi-Fi 6 will drive Wi-Fi toward the future as the growth of wireless continues.

5G and LTE networks typically are managed by operators and use a dedicated, licensed spectrum that requires subscription fees to access. As with LTE, 5G performance will depend on how many “bars” you have—in other words, how close you are to a base station—and how many other people are using the network.

Courtesy – Cisco & Intel