The advancements of the UK’s mobile network constantly make the news headlines. 5G is set to revolutionise the way we communicate, and the world’s leading smartphone brands are gearing their product offering around this new capability. Although 5G is an attention grabber, we actually use WiFi just as much if not more than mobile data. It is therefore vital that businesses get the right WiFi solution not only for their staff, but also for customers. Thankfully WiFi technology is just about to take another leap, and your business could really benefit.
WiFi 6 is on the horizon. This is a huge step up from the previous generation, WiFi 5, which launched in 2014. Like 5G and 4G, the main difference between these services is speed, but there’s more to it than that. We think WiFi 6 has plenty of potential to become a standout tool for businesses. Here’s our guide to this product and how it can benefit your team.
Stay connected longer
WiFi 6 is designed to provide a much more responsive service in environments that experience high levels of demand from multiple devices. Although 2014 doesn’t feel that long ago, technology has changed massively since then. In the UK there are on average 3.5 connected devices per person. The current WiFi network isn’t built to handle this many devices operating over one network, therefore busy and communal spaces experience much slower response rates.
This process is handled by a technology called Multi-User Multiple Input, Multiple Output, or MU-MIMO (catchy hey?). This allows devices to connect simultaneously and stay working at their best. Congestion is also reduced by a service called Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access or OFDMA (how sexy is this?).
All of this basically means is that more connected devices can be used in busy areas. For your business, this could present opportunities for better customer presentation capabilities. You can now host webinars and stream content at events directly to user’s devices with no interference. It also means you can go on your phone in a football stadium! Your customers can easily catch up with their friends when attending concerts or theme parks, without competing with others for 4G or free WiFi services.
Keep your devices working
Previous generations of WiFi are surprisingly battery intensive. You’ll find that connected devices run out of power a lot quicker when they’re handling many internet-based processes. With more and more devices being connected to the internet, this can get overwhelming quickly.
WiFi 6 handles this through a new feature called Target Wait Time (TWT). This service lets your devices know exactly when it is the right time to open a connection to WiFi. This means that devices only connect when they need to, saving battery and providing a better connection to the other devices accessing the network.
It can also distinguish between low and high power devices. Your phone is a high-power device that needs a stronger connection, but your smart fridge likely doesn’t need as strong a connection and won’t be prioritised.
Access super-fast speeds
This is the obvious benefit, but it’s worth mentioning just how fast WiFi 6’s speeds actually are.
- WiFi 4 launched in 2009 and had a maximum data rate of 150 Mbps, which would be pretty good for one person but no more than that.
- WiFi 5 launched in 2014 and had a maximum data rate of 3.5 Gbps, which is very fast and can support the needs of an average business. It is beginning to show its age though, and with the modern devices that businesses use, it isn’t quite working.
- WiFi 6 is launching in 2021 and supports maximum data rate of 9.6 Gbps. This staggering speed can support businesses for years to come. It also supports businesses hosting larger events and those with a variety of connected devices.
WiFi 6 operates over largely the same infrastructure as its predecessors, so upgrading to this new network is a very simple process, all you need are devices that can access WiFi 6 to make the most of it. In real terms, you should see an increase of speeds between 20 and 40%.
How you can access it
This technology is still very new and like 5G won’t be accessible to everyone for a while. With this being said, we think the opportunities that WiFi 6 provides can be very real for businesses. If you’re looking to upgrade your business connectivity any time soon, it may be worth asking about WiFi 6 capabilities.
At F One we have now begun a pre-order service for WiFi 6 enabled connectivity. If this article has piqued your interest then we’d really recommend getting in touch early. A business connectivity solution can revolutionise the way that you work as well as improving your team’s productivity. With the arrival of WiFi 6 we foresee a whole new range of opportunities.
To find out more, place a pre-order or register your interest with F One, get in touch with us. Give our team a call on 0330 221 1183 or fill out this form to register your interest.