Why is the Wi-Fi so slow?!?


IEEE 802.11ax: The New Wi-Fi Standard

You ever heard that question before? Well, you are not the only one that feels the pain. If going to a high-density venue such as a game at a stadium or going to a parade you will feel the effects of connectivity issues with wireless.

With technology use at an all-time high, wireless networks are overworked. Imagine a traffic jam with hundreds of cars at an intersection. Not much is getting through is it? Our demand for Wi-Fi is growing expediently and the industry decided to step up.

IEEE is currently working on a new standard IEEE 802.11ax (Expected to be completed in the summer of 2019) to alleviate the frustration with overused networks. 10G speed capabilities and a higher throughout user rates without the frustrations. From the previous standard 802.11ac to the new, it has multiplied the average throughput per user by four.

Throughput or network throughput is the rate of successful message delivery over a communication channel. The previous standard was to focus on just the need for faster connections. The new standard offers higher speeds of 7G to multi-users, multiple input, and multiple outputs. However, as more users join a network, data rates and throughput are compromised. The throughput is cut in half every time another user joins.

There are three ways to address this issue:
  • Deploy more wireless networks
  • Increase the speed of existing networks
  • Improve throughput

The new 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard combines cellular data carrier technology with the IEEE 802.11ac Wave 2 standard to improve wireless throughput. It will operate in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz unlicensed bands, and also make use of MU-MIMO to address multiple simultaneous users. In addition, users will be multiplexed in frequency using Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA).

The benefits and needs for the new standard:

Network administrators will no longer plan for coverage but how many people will be able to connect and at what speed. For this to work properly, more wireless access points will be needed. The WAPs need to be positioned closer together making sure to cover smaller areas for a higher quality signal. This means more CAT cabling that can handle PoE, higher data rates, and power the WAPs.

Ron Tellas – Belden