Vodacom Business now offers Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) network technology to its enterprise customers.
Among its range of improvements, the latest generation of Wi-Fi standard boosts peak transfer speeds on a single device by up to 40%, with up to four times the average throughput on devices in dense environments.
Managing Executive for Vodacom Business Fatima Hassim said that while Wi-Fi 6 works on the same frequency channels as Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac), it offers a more secure, robust network performance.
“This latest technology will make it possible for a more seamless integration of systems that support the next generation business requirements of a mobile workforce, improving on efficiencies, and providing a transparent & hyper-speed network, with software analytics overlays, whilst optimising power use and cost savings,” said Hassim.
Vodacom explained how Wi-Fi 6 technology is more efficient in its use of wireless spectrum. While the first Wi-Fi standard was able to push 0.1 bits per second per Hertz (bps/Hz), Wi-Fi 6 goes up to 62.5 bps/Hz.
“This new standard delivers techniques such as Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) and multi-user multiple-in multiple-out (MU-MIMO) which increase reliability, efficiency and improve the average performance by creating a narrower, albeit dedicated sub-channel,” Vodacom said.
“Moreover, OFDMA boosts spectral efficiency and reduces latency, while supporting other uses such as email or light web browsing,” it added.
Better range and battery life
These technical improvements offer more than just faster speeds and lower latency, but enhance performance with multiple devices using the same network, Vodacom said.
The operator explained how Wi-Fi 6 will be beneficial for modern use-cases.
“Wi-Fi 6 will allow wireless connectivity to be possible for a much longer range due to the efficient use of spectrum, as well as lower power consumption for Internet of Things (IoT) devices which are powered by batteries,” Vodacom stated.
It said that because Wi-Fi 6 will be running on existing network infrastructure, it will reduce the cost of enabling IoT-heavy networks.
Vodacom said the technology can be employed in a range of industries, including education, manufacturing, hospitality, retail, and other public enterprises that may have thousands or hundreds of thousands of active users in a given area.