September 16, 2022
Why You Should Consider an Upgrade to Wi-Fi 6 or 6e
A wireless upgrade can help organizations meet users’ growing demand for connectivity.
The massive shift that has taken place in recent years in the way work gets done has created ripple effects across the technology industry. As employees have become accustomed to remote work during the global pandemic, they’ve come to employ more devices than ever — laptops, tablets, smartphones and other equipment. Now that many people in the workforce are returning to office environments, they expect their workplaces to support their new devices, as well as a style of work that emphasizes flexibility and mobility.
To achieve these objectives, many organizations are turning to wireless networking solutions that employ the Wi-Fi 6 standard and its extension, Wi-Fi 6e. This demand has been further heightened by the fact that many new wireless endpoint devices — not only laptops and other computing devices, but also Internet of Things sensors and other endpoints — have Wi-Fi 6 technology built in. To take full advantage of this technology, organizations must deploy Wi-Fi 6 networks.
These trends have increased the use of Wi-Fi 6 and 6e equipment, and Deloitte Global predicts that at least 2.5 billion Wi-Fi 6 devices will ship in 2022. For organizations that are looking toward a wireless upgrade in the near future, Wi-Fi 6 and 6e should be serious considerations.
The Power of Wi-Fi 6 and 6e
Organizations need wireless solutions that are both agile and flexible to enable network connectivity anywhere. Wi-Fi 6 was designed to meet organizations’ increased demand for connectivity. It offers some significant upgrades over previous wireless standards to meet these needs. Hardware that supports 6e offers the same functionality in the 6 gigahertz range. These solutions also are compatible with existing wireless devices that operate on older standards.
Both Wi-Fi 6 and 6e are designed to support multiple devices. Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing access (OFMDA) is a key feature of Wi-Fi 6, as it breaks radio frequency (RF) channels into smaller units. This enables multiple clients to communicate with a single access point simultaneously, which yields greater efficiency and higher throughput. Another feature, multiuser, multiple-input, multiple-output (MU-MIMO), also allows the network to communicate with more users.
Wi-Fi 6 equipment also offers greater energy efficiency through a feature known as targeted wait time. TWT lets client devices sleep when not in use, which reduces power consumption and preserves battery life.
Get Help to Overcome Your W-Fi 6 Deployment Challenges
As organizations look to rollout new networking gear that employs Wi-Fi 6 and 6e, many run into obstacles. For example, supply chain issues can present a major challenge by hampering efforts to plan an upgrade. If your new office building is under construction and you haven’t ordered networking equipment yet, you may already be behind. Planning ahead and prioritizing what areas will get new hardware and capabilities first can help organizations minimize the effects of supply chain delays.
Organizations planning Wi-Fi 6 deployments also may need to address challenges around power usage. Power over Ethernet capabilities can help Wi-Fi 6 equipment meet their power needs by delivering electricity without requiring dedicated electric cabling.
While planning an upgrade to Wi-Fi 6, organizations may want to enlist the aid of a trusted partner with expertise in such efforts. CDW can help organizations achieve success in their wireless upgrades with services such as:
Site survey: A wireless site survey helps identify the best spots to place wireless access points for optimal efficiency, reliability and performance.
Network assessment: Through this engagement, a CDW expert examines an organization’s current network operations to see what upgrades may be needed.
Network design: By asking qualifying questions, CDW networking experts help an organization determine how to overcome challenges such as power and cabling.
Sven Rasmussen, who has a passion for technology and for helping people explore the infinite use cases for wireless networking. Sven is an enterprise networking team lead at CDW, where he helps guide network strategy and enablement for CDW’s network solution architects.