airport wi-fi

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has concluded five trial deployments of Wi-Fi 6 that it says prove that it is ready for carrier deployment. Indeed, one of these Wi-Fi 6 trials helped set the stage for an important commercial deployment.

The WBA says that Wi-Fi 6 offers channels as wide as 160 MHz, capacity of 9.6 Gbps (compared to 3.5 Gbps in Wi-Fi 5), better reliability, lower latency and more deterministic behavior. It also offers better network efficiency, especially where there are many connected devices.

One of the Wi-Fi 6 trials preceded commercial rollout. Boingo, Cisco and Samsung demonstrated Wi-Fi 6 at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana, CA. The WBA said that Boingo subsequently moved the technology to commercial operations and announced an airport-wide deployment at São Paulo/Guarulhos International Airport in Brazil.

The other Wi-Fi 6 trials announced by the WBA include:

  • Industrial: Mettis Aerospace, Broadcom, Cisco, iBwave and Intel deployed Wi-Fi 6 in a dense industrial setting. The trial demonstrated improved reliability, coverage, throughput and lower latency compared to previous iterations of Wi-Fi.
  • High-density consumer: SK Telecom deployed Wi-Fi 6 in a mall to improve connectivity and quality of experience (QoE). Wi-Fi 6 reduced latency by 80 percent, reduced throughput fluctuation and improved service reliability.
  • Residential: CableLabs, Intel and Kyrio deployed Wi-Fi 6 in a residential area featuring single-family homes and MDUs. The trial provided enough throughput to deliver multiple high quality 4K video streams.
  • Rural Education: C-DOT and Intel deployed Wi-Fi 6 in a rural school in India to support new learning technologies and improve signal coverage and streaming performance. Throughput increased by more than 50% throughout the network.

The demonstrations clearly were aimed at showcasing Wi-Fi 6’s broad potential. “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,” WBA CEO Tiago Rodrigues said in a press release.

Many carriers, large and small, already support Wi-Fi 6.

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