Here Comes The Faster 802.11ax Wi-Fi Standard, Everything You Need To Know

Intel has announced that it’ll have chips ready within the year for the next-generation of Wi-Fi – 802.11ax. WiFi Alliance, the overcoming group which regulates and sets new standards for new versions of the Wi-Fi protocol – has published that it doesn’t actually expect the new faster 802.11ax standard to come into prominence until 2019 thanks to delayed product certification. On the topic, here are the details you need to know about.

Intel’s chips are coming this year, but the new 802.11ax Wi-Fi standard takes off next year. The report comes directly from the spokesperson for the alliance who suggested that proper product certification is “typically an inflection point toward broader industry adoption.” Product certification isn’t entirely necessary for consumers to start adopting products, though, having it in place does certainly give a sense of confidence that the hardware is genuine and has been tested to the correct standards to ensure conformity to the new 802.11ax standard.

The new generation is supposed to be faster, obviously, but mostly it’s meant to perform better in environments with lots and lots of connected devices, so things like public Hotspots. And also house if you just have a ton of phones and tablets and of course, smart gadgets lying around. Intel has also mentioned that chips supporting the new Wi-Fi standard will be available this year, which actually works nicely for 2019 wide-scale adoption.

There are certain companies who like to try it and be ahead of the curve and place themselves as early adopters or front-runners where the new standard is concerned. Even though Intel says it’s going to start shipping 802.11ax chips for routers and “consumer retail devices” this year. ASUS has already announced a new 802.11ax compatible router which will allow support for additional devices connected to the hardware without interruption.

Companies like ASUS has already announced a router, and are able to come out with Wi-Fi products before certification, but must wait for the standard to be finalized. However, the certification process makes sure that all Wi-Fi products work together as they’re supposed to, and the Alliance is correct that it usually marks the beginning of a new era of Wi-Fi. That’s typically when the floodgates open and OEMs start to mass adopt the new technologies and push out products into the market.

Before Intel, Qualcomm also announced the availability of 802.11ax chips last February. And while Intel’s Wi-Fi chips are used in Arris routers – which are used by Comcast, so they’re inherently very popular. Intel isn’t nearly as big in the connectivity space as some of the other chip makers, so this availability isn’t actually going to be what gets the ball coming.

In terms of what 802.11ax will offer, it will, definitely, be a faster Wi-Fi Standard capable of delivering speedier Internet booster to those with compatible hardware. The real notion of 802.11ax comes from the fact that it’s designed to perform better and faster internet speeds in public areas, that too, where a large number of devices are connected to a single hotspot.

As many of us likely experienced issues in hotels, airports, or even large office buildings where multiple computers, TVs, smartphones, tablets, and other connected devices are registered to the router or access point. Even once certification arrives for 802.11ax next year, don’t expect to take advantage of it for a little while. It will take several months before certified products hit the market.

First and foremost, you’ll need a new 802.11ax compatible router to take advantage of the new Wi-Fi standard. And the chips also have to make their way down to smaller gadgets, like laptops and phones, which will take much longer. Then you’ll have to replace your current laptops and phones with ones that support the new faster Wi-Fi standard, which could easily be a few years or more.

Announcements of these new standards are always relatively exciting but always need to be accepted for what they are. Obviously, the new Wi-Fi standards are great and really important for helping us get online, and it’s good to acknowledge that 802.11ax is coming, but it still has ways to go before we’re using it to connect to the worldwide web.

802.11ax will definitely represent an improvement where Wi-Fi is concerned but even with certification in place it’s still likely going live into 2019 before any manufacturers have their products ready, tested, and rolled out into the marketplace for consideration. What do you say?


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