Wi-Fi as we know it has changed the way many people interact with the world around them. From working remotely in cafes and restaurants around the globe to collaborating and building a business while limiting flight time, Wi-Fi is a necessary technology the modern world relies on.
As of December 2018, there were 4.1 billion internet users globally, with the internet influencing retail sales at an estimated 3.45 trillion dollars in 2019, as reported by HostingFacts.com.
With such a large proportion of the global economy dependent on the internet and Wi-Fi connectivity, there is an advantage to maximizing the effectiveness of this technology.
The last major Wi-Fi technology update was the introduction of Wi-Fi 4 (Wi-Fi 802.11n) in 2009, with minor updates — including Wi-Fi 5 — being introduced in years since to keep up with improvements in Wi-Fi operating standards.
The Introduction of Wi-Fi 6
According to The Verge, “Wi-Fi 6 is the next generation of Wi-Fi.” For businesses operating managed Wi-Fi solutions for employees and patrons alike, Wi-Fi 6 may be a game-changer due to its faster performance and ability to handle more devices on their network.
Wi-Fi 6 promises a maximum speed of 9.6 Gbps. Although this speed may not bring any tangible advantage to individual intelligent devices, it does mean that this speed can be utilized across a Wi-Fi network, benefitting all users accessing Wi-Fi via a captive portal.
The Benefits of Wi-Fi 6
For both businesses and individuals, the transition to Wi-Fi 6 technology will not be instant but does offer benefits due to its intelligent nature and technological design. Some benefits of Wi-Fi 6 include:
Enhanced Security: Even highly secured Wi-Fi services and networks can fall victim to data breaches, with over 1.8 records in solely January of 2019 being stolen. However, thanks to WPA3 — an update to the Wi-Fi Alliance's security standards — Wi-Fi 6 is more secure than its predecessor, and WPA3 is a requirement for Wi-Fi 6-enabled devices to become certified by the Wi-Fi Alliance.
Superior Connectivity: Looking for better Wi-Fi network performance even in busy restaurants and retail spaces? Look no further than Wi-Fi 6. When crowds start to form, Wi-Fi connection tends to slow down due to an increase in the demand for data. Wi-Fi 6 uses its enhanced technology to alleviate that lag and improve a user’s average Wi-Fi speed.
Increased Battery Life: For patrons of restaurants, cafes, or retail shops that offer Wi-Fi connectivity, the allure of the offer is only as strong as their intelligent device’s battery life. With Wi-Fi 6, users can save some battery life with Wi-Fi technology that communicates when it’s time to receive transmissions with a feature called “target wake time.”
How Will Devices Be Affected by Wi-Fi 6?
Phones, laptops, and tablets: To take full advantage of Wi-Fi 6, purchasing a new intelligent device is necessary, which is why the transition to Wi-Fi 6 will not be instantaneous, but will happen over the years as devices are updated. Older devices will not have Wi-Fi 6 capabilities built-in, while newly introduced products to the market will.
However, devices that are not yet capable of connecting to Wi-Fi 6 can still reap some of the benefits while connected to Wi-Fi 6 routers, according to Wired Magazine.
Routers: Wi-Fi 6 is only available on routers enabled with the updated technology. For businesses using a managed Wi-Fi service, consider speaking with your service provider about purchasing a Wi-Fi 6-enabled router for your space.
Although Wi-Fi 6 is still in the early stages of deployment, forward-thinking businesses can get a head start on improving their Wi-Fi offering for an enhanced customer experience and optimized Wi-Fi marketing operations.