During the past two decades, Wi-Fi has connected billions of people around the globe and helped improve countless lives. As the Wi-Fi Alliance notes, Wi-Fi’s inherent strengths have made the ever-evolving IEEE 802.11 one of the greatest success stories of the technology era. Indeed, according to Kevin Robinson, VP of marketing at the WiFi Alliance, Wi-Fi has contributed approximately $2 trillion to the world’s economy – with more than 13 billion Wi-Fi devices in active use worldwide. Moreover, Wi-Fi is the primary medium for global Internet traffic, as more than 80% of traffic on the average smartphone is transferred via Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
The latest iteration of the wireless standard – Wi-Fi 6 – offers up to a four-fold capacity increase over its Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) predecessor. As we’ve previously discussed on The Ruckus Room, the very first Wi-Fi 6 access points (APs) and client devices hit the market only recently. Nevertheless, IDC analysts see Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) deployments ramping significantly throughout 2019 and becoming the dominant enterprise Wi-Fi standard by 2021. Meanwhile, Christian Kim, Senior Analyst IoT, Connectivity and Telecom Electronics at IHS Markit, estimates that total Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) device shipments will increase to 58 million units in 2021.
Aside from offering a four-fold capacity increase over its predecessor, Wi-Fi 6 enables multiple APs deployed in dense device environments to collectively deliver required quality-of-service (QoS) to more clients with more diverse usage profiles. This is made possible by a range of technologies that optimize spectral efficiency, increase throughput and reduce power consumption. These include Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Output (MU-MIMO), Target Wake Time (TWT), Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), BSS Coloring and 1024-QAM.
The Ruckus R730 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point
In addition to implementing the above technologies, Ruckus’ R730 Wi-Fi 6 AP supports a range of supplemental technologies that go well beyond the 802.11ax standard, including:
- Airtime decongestion — Increases average client throughput in heavily congested environments by using patent-pending techniques to reduce unnecessary management traffic.
- Transient client management — Maintains throughput levels for priority clients in high transient-client environments such as transportation hubs by using advanced techniques to delay AP association with low-priority transient clients.
- BeamFlex+ antennas — Improves AP coverage and capacity by continuously optimizing antenna patterns on a per-device, per-packet basis.
Embedded BLE and Zigbee
The R730 also packs embedded Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Zigbee radios – and can be augmented with Ruckus IoT modules to support additional physical layer protocols such as LoRa. Using the Ruckus IoT controller, these separate networks and the IoT endpoints associated with them can be managed, coordinated and connected to IoT cloud services as part a single, converged IoT access network.
WPA3 wireless security protocol
On the security side, the R730 supports the WPA3 protocol and Wi-Fi Enhanced Open certification. Users with compatible devices will benefit from significant security enhancements, including protection against brute-force dictionary attacks through the use of a new key exchange protocol known as a simultaneous authentication of equals handshake. As well, users with compatible devices will be protected against traffic-sniffing attacks common to unauthenticated networks associated with public venues.
Additional information about Wi-Fi’s 20th anniversary can be found on the Wi-Fi Alliance page and our R730 product page.