Wi-Fi 6 Finishes Testing, Global Deployment Takes Off in 2021

Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) announced that the trials of Wi-Fi 6 across deployments in diverse markets have concluded, and it’s ready now for a worldwide rollout.

The new Wi-Fi 6 protocol, which can use wider channels at 160 MHz and a capacity of up to 9.6 Gbps (compared to 3.5 Gbps in Wi-Fi 5), is already available in a number of devices, although only now companies and manufacturers can push for a more aggressive deployment. The new technology will provide better reliability, lower latency, more deterministic behavior, and better network efficiency, which is especially useful in areas with multiple connected endpoints.

“The trials covering a range of different verticals and deployment scenarios demonstrate the key capabilities of Wi-Fi 6 in live networks, establishing its readiness for carrier Wi-Fi deployments around the world,” says the WBA. “This lays the foundation for deployment of Wi-Fi 6 in enterprises, homes, schools, transportation hubs, travellers and the Internet of Things (IoT).”

The trials that led to this point covered all possible verticals where Wi-Fi 6 will be implemented, including industrial manufacturing, with help from companies such as Broadcom, Cisco, iBwave and Intel. High-density malls are another target for the technology, along with rural schools, single-family and multi-dwelling units, and massive transportation hubs like airports.

“These successful deployments prove the strength of Wi-Fi 6 technology to achieve better throughput, lower latency, enhanced reliability, improved network efficiency and better user experience,” said WBA CEO Tiago Rodrigues. “Ultimately, they prove the readiness of Wi-Fi 6 for carrier deployments, and the WBA continues to develop and expand new trials that support Wi-Fi 6 and 6E expansion into new areas in different geographies around the world.”

Initial adoption is expected to reach 65% by the end of 2021. WBA’s membership consists of numerous operators and technology companies, such as BSNL, Orange, Facebook, Google, HPE Aruba, Huawei, Nokia, Qualcomm, Shaw, Swisscom, Softbank, Rogers, Telstra, Telus and T-Mobile US.