The sixth generation of Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, provides more speed, lower latency, and increased device density. The fifth generation of wireless, or 5G, is the latest cellular technology, engineered to increase the speed and capacity of wireless networks. Here are five things to know about Wi-Fi 6 and 5G:
Both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 are built from the same foundation and will co-exist to support different use cases
Both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 bring a promise of dramatically better performance to mobile workers and the enterprise. Since they are complementary technologies, they will provide higher data rates to support new applications and increases in network capacity with the ability to connect more devices.
Wi-Fi 6 will continue to be the
access choice for indoor networks
With improvements in speed, latency, and higher density of connected devices, Wi-Fi 6 is ideal for indoor enterprise networks. Combined with its reasonable cost to deploy, maintain and scale, it will prove an ideal system for indoor wireless connectivity—especially in areas where access points will serve more users, such as stadiums, concert halls, and convention centers.
5G will be the designated
choice for outdoor networks
With higher speeds and improved capacity, both 5G and Wi-Fi 6 can improve outdoor connectivity. However, certain use cases, like riding on a bullet train at 200 miles an hour or traveling in a car on the highway, will make 5G the preferred method for outdoor networks.
Wi-Fi 6 and 5G are suitable for
Both Wi-Fi 6 and 5G offer exciting opportunities to connect more devices reliably via wireless. This is important for mission-critical IoT devices being used in manufacturing automation, healthcare, energy, and many other industries.
Wi-Fi 6 and 5G will also offer enhanced mobile broadband for immersive experience via augmented and virtual reality. Although many industries will benefit from the enhanced mobile experience, industries such as hospitality, retail, and education will drive immersive experiences for their business.
Timeline for Wi-Fi 6 and 5G
Wi-Fi 6 appears to be on a faster roll out when compared to 5G, with hand set vendors such as Samsung announcing Wi-Fi 6-capable smartphones in 2019.
By mid-2019 several vendors, including Cisco, will have Wi-Fi 6 access points available.
From 2019 to 2022, users and enterprises will transition to the new standard with more clients and access points coming on the market.
5G networks and services will be deployed in stages over the next several years.
5G will first be used for fixed wireless applications: residential and branch backhaul.
Starting in mid-2019 and continuing into 2020, service providers will start offering 5G service to select cities.
Around 2021, 5G service will become common in many big cities in the U.S., EMEAR, Japan, and China, with important rollouts lasting through 2023.
Cisco is very excited for the next wave of wireless access. 5G and Wi-Fi 6 will provide an advancement in performance for new and existing networks for the next generation of advanced applications. As both technologies will become widespread, now is the time to consider the bright future ahead of us, when Wi-Fi 6 and 5G will be available to complement each other.