5G WiFi, based on IEEE 802.11ac forms the basis of next generation Wi-Fi – Wi-Fi which will get us 3x more speeds than similar Wi-Fi solutions today. The disruptive speeds brought to us by 5G WiFi are best explained by the traffic analogy.
Roads are designed to transport people. A bigger, more organized road enables more people to commute at any point in time. The commuter experience is further helped by lack of accidents, pot-holes, and slower vehicles on the road. The communication link is similar to the road. While roads carry people, these links carry data from one device to another. Much like roads, the amount of data that can be transferred at any point in time really depends on how “wide” the link is and how smoothly and reliably the data travels through the link.
Today’s 802.11n Wi-Fi is a good wireless link. It reliably transmits up to a few hundred Mbps of data wirelessly. But greater speeds will allow data to be transferred faster, and will therefore allow more devices to use the wireless medium at the same time. Data is very much like people on the road. Data also requires getting to the destination as fast as possible. But that goal is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve now. In traffic parlance, the 11n road is getting clogged, and there are people in ramps waiting to be metered in.
5G WiFi is designed to address the growing need to support more content and more devices. In order to provide these higher speeds and reliable coverage, the standard uses more bandwidth, higher modulation schemes, and features such as beam-forming.
In the second part of this article, I will jump right back to the road to help understand what these enhancements bring to the table.