Wireless Internet has changed people’s lives, it allows people to do more things in different places, home, office and even the wild.
As long as the wireless Internet is not a problem, the general public is likely to have never studied it. It’s like oxygen: you think it’s a matter of course to have it, and you won’t panic until it disappears.
Over the years, people who have developed and implemented wireless Internet standards have a common goal: to increase the speed of connectivity while reducing power consumption. Now they have a different dilemma in place.
The number of connected devices is about to hit an unprecedented explosive growth, with billions of smart home sensors, industrial equipment and artificial intelligence computers connected to the Internet. However, current wireless Internet systems cannot afford this large device access scale.
In the next few years, all the wireless technologies around people will undergo major changes: the next generation of WiFi technology – WiFi 6, the more powerful Bluetooth standard – Bluetooth 5, and of course the next generation cellular network 5G.
They will all play an important role in the upcoming era of super-connectivity, making networking of people and things easier. Let us know these three wireless technology individually.
Next year, you will hear more about 5G discussions, as every operator, chip maker, and equipment manufacturer manages to gain 5G ownership. However, what is 5G exactly? The answer is not unique.
First of all, in some cases, 5G has no meaning. US operator AT&T decided to change the LTE signal indicator on some mobile phones to “5G E”.
Although the LTE network connected by the user is faster, it is still a 4G network. AT&T CFO John Stephens said at the time that this adjustment was appropriate because the upgrade of the base station could immediately improve the quality of wireless service.
But overall, 5G is an evolution of cellular networks that can provide an extremely fast Internet, many times faster than previous cellular or even home WiFi.
However, the launch speed of 5G is not so fast. In the beginning, operators will first add 5G components to the LTE network to make the network run faster. You will start to hear about the 5G New Air Port (NR) concept, which was first used to upgrade existing 4G networks.
5G will initially focus on home broadband. For example, US operator Verizon will provide modems such as D-Link’s 5G NR Enhanced Gateway to capture nearby 5G signals and convert them into WiFi signals for use by existing devices.
The truly independent networking of 5G will be introduced later, as it requires a new, expensive infrastructure such as routers everywhere to receive new frequency bands. The wavelength of the electromagnetic waves in these bands is much shorter than the current frequency band of the operator. These new bands are millimeter waves.
A short wavelength generally means it can transmit more data over more distances. 5G also provides extremely low latency. If people really want to use 5G to help realize the promise of streaming virtual reality games and autonomous vehicles, low latency is crucial.
By the time people experience a fully functional 5G network, the world may have entered the 1920s. But if the operator can make it fast enough and cheap enough, it could be the only Internet that people need.
The WiFi Alliance Standards Organization no longer focuses on improving the theoretical maximum speed of WiFi networks, but rather on how the network handles traffic. WiFi 6 is also known as the 802.11ax standard. The new router that supports WiFi 6 will enable people’s TVs, mobile phones, Xboxes, and smart refrigerators to coexist better.
“When you are at the Tokyo train station and crowded into the crowd watching the Super Bowl, the WiFi experience in these environments will change radically,” said Kevin Robinson, vice president of marketing for WiFi Alliance.
Two key technologies make this possible. The first is Multi-User Multiple Input Multiple Access (MU-MIMO), which enables radio broadcasters to simultaneously process requests from different devices.
Second, “Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access” (OFDMA) technology can split individual channels into multiple small channels, further expanding the ability to handle multiple devices.
Robinson compares MU-MIMO to adding more trucks to the delivery fleet, while OFDMA enables each truck to stop multiple times on the way. For users, this means your device doesn’t have to work hard to access a crowded network.
Currently, only a few devices support WiFi 6, but with the WiFi Alliance launch certification program, there will be a large number of devices supporting this new standard by 2020.
The Bluetooth network is focused on connecting two devices, mainly sharing commands or other small amounts of data. You may use Bluetooth to connect your headset or phone or connect a pool temperature sensor that communicates with the app.
In the future, it may become a means of communication for farm-level sensor networks, to help you visit galleries in museums, or to provide you with very specific directions in the supermarket.
The latest standard Bluetooth 5 has been supported by many devices, such as the Apple Watch Series 4 smartwatch, the latest mobile phones from companies such as Apple and Samsung.
It has long been a low-power option: if the Tile Tracker uses WiFi instead of Bluetooth, its battery life is much less than a year.
At present, the transmission distance and reliability of Bluetooth are increasing. “If Bluetooth technology can penetrate one or two walls before, it can now penetrate three or four walls,” said Chuck Sabin, senior director of business strategy and planning at the Bluetooth Technology Alliance Standards Organization.
So, these three wireless technology will surely take the wireless connectivity to a new level. What do you think guys? Please, drop your comments.