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What is 802.11ax


Well we first thought there are lot of acronyms in CPU naming schemes but wireless nomenclature may be even more confusing.

Started with 802.11 and then got on to 802.11b/g/n/ac/ac wave 2 and then the recent one 802.11ax. 

Speed – Max theoretical speed for 1 stream on AC is 866 Mb/s, AX promises speeds around 1201 Mb/s. Speed depends on range, obstacles, other interference in air. Wireless AX aims to improve efficiency. 

One of the main features is OFDMA – Chops each wireless channels further making them partial channels. Allows up to 30 devices to talk to AP over a single channel. The channels being smaller, AP get more flexibility, improves overall performance. Works in tandem Mu-Mimo, multiple device access at same time. Wireless AX allows 8 simultaneous streams instead. There is some addition of color pattern(Spatial Frequency Reuse), BSS color. Identifier attached to each data chunk or frame to identify what wireless network it came from. With BSS color an AP can tell which frame is coming from other networks and ignore them as long as they are below the threshold of weakness. It can utilize 2.4/5 and we may see 6GHz. 

There is a feature on gadgets for battery power – Target wake up time. How often tx/rx wireless data thereby putting wireless transponder to sleep when transmission is not necessary thereby saving on battery. 

AX will hit sometime in 2019.

Revision :

New Wi-Fi Alliance numbering…
802.11-Wi-Fi 0 2.4GHz Only
802.11a-Wi-Fi 1 5GHz Only
802.11b-Wi-Fi 2 2.4GHz Only
802.11g-Wi-Fi 3 2.4GHz Only
802.11n-Wi-Fi 4 2.4GHz or 5GHz
802.11ac-Wi-Fi 5 5GHz Only
802.11ax-Wi-Fi 6 2.4GHz or 5GHz

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