Wi-Fi 6 with more antennas: 8 x 8 MU-MIMO beats 4 x 4
Jun 30, 2019
BOSTON--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- MU-MIMO with the full eight transmit and eight receive antennas, or 8 x 8 MU-MIMO, provides the biggest benefit to total system throughput and capacity in Wi-Fi 6 networks compared to other features of Wi-Fi 6. Marketing messages surrounding Wi-Fi 6 have typically touted the benefits of OFDMA, which is important for reducing congestion, but this isn’t the full story.
The Strategy Analytics RF & Wireless Components (RFWC) report “The Ultimate Wi-Fi Access Point: Which Wi-Fi 6 Features Define the New Premium Tier?” details the multiplicative effect on capacity possible with 8 x 8 MU-MIMO.
The author of the report spoke with testing labs, OEMs, carriers, and chipset providers in researching the report, which looks at access points and Wi-Fi routers in the premium tier, from retail to enterprise and carrier.
According to the author and service director, Christopher Taylor, “Access points with 8 x 8 MU-MIMO can simultaneously address up to four times as many 2 x 2 client devices as OFDMA alone. Many entry-level and mainstream Wi-Fi 6 access points use only two or four antennas, but more than two thirds of the access points we identified in the premium tier use the full eight. Quantenna, Qualcomm, and more recently Marvell and Celeno offer Wi-Fi 6 chipsets capable of 8 x 8 MU-MIMO.”
According to Stephen Entwistle, head of Strategic Technologies at Strategy Analytics, “The benefits of MU-MIMO have been proven in the cellular world with LTE. OEMs of smartphone and laptop PC have shown strong support for Wi-Fi 6 with MU-MIMO, with at least nine smartphones and four laptop PCs now shipping with Wi-Fi 6, and all but one fully supporting 8 x 8 channel sounding feedback to the access point right out of the box.”
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