Wi-Fi 6 gets a certification programme: enthusiasts say it’s now ‘all systems go’

via Flickr © Wesley Fryer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

via Flickr © Wesley Fryer (CC BY-SA 2.0)

  • It seems that Wi-Fi 6 might get out into the ecosystem faster than previous iterations
  • Upon the announcement of certification the first smartphone is Wi-Fi 6 enabled
  • More devices are promised

The Wi-Fi 6 ground game stepped up another gear today with the Wi-Fi Alliance’s announcement that it had launched its certification programme for the latest Wi-Fi technology standard. The certification is generally agreed to be a great thing for Wi-Fi as, if and when adhered to by the ecosystem, it will align all the players on a single set of standards for the technology. And the certification seems to have full industry-wide support. 

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), which is also a Wi-Fi booster but represents the interests of the big network operators who see Wi-Fi as an important part of the carrier arsenal, is on-board. 

It goes ‘full Churchill”, proclaiming that the certification represents “the end of the beginning” because up to now Wi-Fi 6 has been the domain of pioneers and pilots including some of its members - Korea Telekom, SK Telekom, Cisco and Boingo Wireless. But it now expects that a much larger volume of wireless operators and enterprises will feel “more confident investing in Wi-Fi 6 devices and infrastructure. 

“This will likely create a virtuous circle, where hardware manufacturers and service providers will likewise become more focused on addressing the growing appetite for Wi-Fi 6,” it claims.

The WBA says it has created its  Wi-Fi 6 Deployment Guidelines to smooth the transition out and make the most of the huge leap in Wi-Fi capability. 

The Wi-Fi Alliance (the ones doing the certification), claims ‘Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6’ is bringing a host of new features and capabilities, especially in challenging environments where many devices find themselves connected to a single Wi-Fi network. It will also do better in environments requiring low power and low latency in smart homes or industrial IoT scenarios.

It claims Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 is capable of delivering nearly four times the capacity of Wi-Fi 5, and is an evolutionary advancement for Wi-Fi’s ability to deliver high-performance infrastructure and optimized connectivity to all devices on a network simultaneously.  

The advanced capabilities available:

  • Orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA): effectively shares channels to increase network efficiency and lower latency for both uplink and downlink traffic in high demand environments

  • Multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO): allows more downlink data to be transferred at once and enables an access point to transmit data to a larger number of devices concurrently

  • 160 MHz channels: increases bandwidth to deliver greater performance with low latency

  • Target wake time (TWT): significantly improves battery life in Wi-Fi devices, such as Internet of Things (IoT) devices

  • 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM): increases throughput in Wi-Fi devices by encoding more data in the same amount of spectrum

  • Transmit beamforming: enables higher data rates at a given range resulting in greater network capacity


One early adherent is the Samsung Galaxy Note10 - claiming to be the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 smartphone but the Wi-Fi Alliance expects most leading phones and access points will soon support the latest generation of Wi-Fi. The first products designated Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 which comprise the test bed for certification include:

  • Broadcom® BCM4375
  • Broadcom® BCM43698
  • Broadcom® BCM43684
  • Cypress CYW 89650 Auto-Grade Wi-Fi 6 Certified
  • Intel® Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+) AX200 (for PCs)
  • Intel® Home Wi-Fi Chipset WAV600 Series (for routers and gateways)
  • Marvell 88W9064 (4x4) Wi-Fi 6 Dual-Band STA
  • Marvell 88W9064 (4x4) + 88W9068 (8x8) Wi-Fi 6 Concurrent Dual-Band AP
  • Qualcomm® Networking Pro 1200 Platform
  • Qualcomm® FastConnect 6800 Wi-Fi 6 Mobile Connectivity Subsystem
  • Ruckus R750 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point

Click here for more information on Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6

Email Newsletters

Sign up to receive TelecomTV's top news and videos, plus exclusive subscriber-only content direct to your inbox.