For years now, Wi-Fi versions have been named as a combination of numbers, alphabets, and special symbols. For example, 802.11ab, 802.11n or a/b/g/n.
However, things are set to change now. Wi-Fi Alliance, the group that offers IEEE-defined names for Wi-Fi versions, has decided to make the names simpler from now onwards. The next Wi-Fi version will be named Wi-Fi 6 — easy and simple.
“For nearly two decades, Wi-Fi users have had to sort through technical naming conventions to determine if their devices support the latest Wi-Fi,” said Edgar Figueroa, Wifi Alliance’s CEO.
He also introduced the new naming scheme and announced that the upcoming version is Wifi 6 as per the following timeline —
- Wi-Fi 1: 802.11b (1999)
- Wi-Fi 2: 802.11a (1999)
- Wi-Fi 3: 802.11g (2003)
- Wi-Fi 4: 802.11n (2009)
- Wi-Fi 5: 802.11ac (2014)
- Wi-Fi 6: 8.2.11ax (2019)
Wi-Fi 6’s real name is 8.2.11ax and will succeed 802.11ac with some considerable improvements. Wi-Fi 6 will have 37% higher ostensible data rate as compared to Wi-Fi 5, will run eight 5GHz streams and four 2.4 GHz streams.
The new Wi-Fi version promises faster speed and increased user throughput even when multiple devices are connected.
As far as the nomenclature is concerned, Wi-Fi Alliance has said that every major company that manufacturers Wi-Fi related equipment have to follow the newly introduced naming scheme.
The Alliance will also make sure that branding of Wi-Fi routers and the versions displayed in the advertisements is simpler one. Moreover, the earlier versions of the Wi-Fi will also be referred with their simpler names from now onwards.