The latest Wi-Fi speed standard is called 802.11ax and the previous one is named 802.11ac. This creates confusion for some people as they tend to check repeatedly if they’ve got the new or the old standard.
To save the hassle, the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced a new branding scheme for certified Wi-Fi standards, which will be named in numerical sequence. The latest 802.11ax will be renamed as Wi-Fi 6, 802.11ac as Wi-Fi 5 and 802.11n as Wi-Fi 4.
As a result, Wi-Fi device manufacturers will be able to label their products that customers can identify with more easily.
“For nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions to determine if their devices support the latest Wi-Fi,” says Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of Wi-Fi Alliance, in a statement.
“Wi-Fi Alliance is excited to introduce Wi-Fi 6, and present a new naming scheme to help industry and Wi-Fi users easily understand the Wi-Fi generation supported by their device or connection.”
The 802.11ax, now called Wi-Fi 6, runs more efficiently in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrums, and the connection speed is increased nearly fourfold compared with the 802.11ac standard.
Multi-User MIMO is also supported so that per-user throughput is improved in dense user contexts. Last but not least, some mobile devices supporting the 802.11ax standard will also connect to the latest Bluetooth 5.0, which allows devices to have a broader connecting range.
Starting with Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi Alliance certification programs based on major IEEE 802.11 releases will use new names. Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 will be available in 2019, says the Wi-Fi Alliance.