Skip to main content

Next-generation Wireless LANs in the IEEE 802.11 Working Group

NTT Technical Review Vol. 19, No. 2, Feb. 2021 provided a fantastic summary of Standardization of Next-generation Wireless LANs in the IEEE 802.11 Working Group. Here is an extract from the article:

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.11 is a working group (WG) within the IEEE 802 LAN/MAN Standards Committee that helps develop standards related to local area networks (LANs) and metropolitan area networks (MANs). It is responsible for standardization of physical layer and medium access control (MAC) layer technologies of wireless LANs.

There are several types of subgroups within the IEEE 802.11 WG. A task group (TG) is a subgroup responsible for developing a technical standard or recommended practice. A study group is a preparatory group to create a TG to discuss use cases, technologies, and feasibilities. As a result of discussion, a study group creates documents called Project Authorization Request and Criteria for Standards Development. There are also a group to discuss a specific topic called a topic interest group (TIG), standing committees, and ad hoc groups. Table 1 lists the current subgroups in the 802.11 WG.

The latest wireless LAN products with the brand name “Wi-Fi 6” that can be found in home-electronics retail stores are based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard. Although this standard defines data-transmission speed up to 9.6 Gbit/s, the maximum speed supported by actual products varies from about 1 to 5 Gbit/s depending on the price. The standardization of the IEEE 802.11ax will be completed shortly. The Wi-Fi Alliance, which provides interoperability test services, has started certification of 802.11ax devices under the brand name Wi-Fi 6.

In the United States, the 6-GHz band (from 5.925 to 7.125 GHz) was allocated for unlicensed wireless communication systems, including wireless LANs, in the spring of 2020 (see Fig. 2). By this allocation of a large frequency band, it is anticipated that interference among wireless LAN devices will be reduced. Therefore, better throughput and latency performance can be expected, which enables the accommodation of new applications requiring more bandwidth such as augmented reality and virtual reality.

In the 6-GHz band, however, there are several incumbent wireless communication systems, and the wireless LAN system needs to satisfy specific requirements to coexist with those systems. In the United States, the 6-GHz band is divided into four segments, and the technical requirements are defined for each one. There are two categories of wireless LAN devices, Low Power Indoor (LPI) and Standard Power (SP). LPI devices are allowed to use any frequency segment of the 6-GHz band but are only allowed for indoor environments. SP devices, on the other hand, are allowed to emit higher power, but are allowed to operate in only specific frequency segments, and the use of automated frequency coordination (AFC) is mandated to protect existing wireless systems. There is another category called Very Low Power (VLP) under discussion. In Japan, discussion on the unlicensed use of the 6-GHz band has not begun; however, there is strong demand from industries, and it is very likely that discussion will begin shortly.

To achieve more than 30 Gbit/s for maximum throughput at the MAC service access point (SAP), the TGbe was created in May 2019. The IEEE 802.11be standard will be published in May 2024 in accordance with the results of the discussions in the TGbe. The IEEE 802.11be will succeed the 802.11ax as the mainstream wireless LAN standard. In addition to technical topics, the TGbe is currently discussing the framework of the draft standard called Specification Framework Document. The TGbe plans to continue this discussion until May 2021 and plans to release draft version 1.0. The following features are currently being discussed for the IEEE 802.11be standard:

  • Improvement in frequency-utilization efficiency and utilization of wider bandwidth
  • Multi-link transmission
  • Multi-AP coordination
  • Low-latency features
  • Other features

The Wi-Fi Alliance is an organization to promote the adoption of wireless LAN devices and services into various market segments. It provides interoperability test services for wireless LAN products based on the IEEE 802.11 standards. A wireless LAN device that passed the interoperability test of the Wi-Fi Alliance is allowed to use the Wi-Fi certified logo.

The Wi-Fi Alliance has started interoperability testing for 802.11ax products under the brand name Wi-Fi 6 based on the draft version of the IEEE 802.11ax standard. As mentioned previously, Wi-Fi 6 certified products are currently available on the market. There are two more interoperability test services for 802.11ax products under development. One is called “Wi-Fi 6E” to test features for operations in the 6-GHz band in addition to the current Wi-Fi 6 interoperability test. The Wi-Fi 6E certification program will be launched shortly. The other one is “Wi-Fi 6 R2,” which is based on the official standard of the IEEE 802.11ax.

You can read the complete article here. You can also download the PDF after registration.

Related Posts

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

CSI-RS vs SRS Beamforming

In an issue of Signals Flash by Signals Research Group (SRG), they talked about 2 different types of MIMO. Quoting from their journal, "CSI-RS versus SRS. Those operators that have tested or made token use of MU-MIMO leverage a flavor of MU-MIMO that is based on CSI-RS. The MU-MIMO network we tested was based on SRS, which makes it far more likely to observe sixteen spatial layers (versus eight)." I reached out to Emil Bj√∂rnson, Visiting Professor at KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Associate Professor at Link√∂ping University to see if he has explained this in any of his videos. Here is what he said: " I'm not talking about 3GPP terminology in any of my videos. But you can listen to the slides that starts around 12:40 in this video (embedded below) . If you are looking for CSI-RS vs SRS based MU-MIMO, then jump to around 12:40 in this video where you can see CSI-RS being referred to as "grid of beams" and SRS is similar to the other option, which is t

High-level Architecture Introduction of Mobile Cellular Networks from 2G to 5G

Here is an old tutorial explaining high level mobile network architecture, starting from GSM and then looking at GPRS, UMTS, LTE & 5G. Slides and video below High-level architecture of Mobile Cellular Networks from 2G to 5G from 3G4G Related links : Free 2G, 3G, 4G & 5G Training Videos 5G (IMT-2020) Wireless 5G vs 4G: what is the difference?

Laser Inter-Satellite Links (LISLs) in a Starlink Constellation

When we first talked about Starlink back in 2019 , we saw in the video that the concept involved laser communication to communicate between the satellites. While the initially launched satellites did not have the laser communication mechanism built in, it looks like they are being added to the newer ones.  A report from Fast Company in late 2021 said: One of the next big upgrades in telecom will involve satellites firing lasers at each other—to beam data, not blow stuff up. The upside of replacing traditional radio-frequency communication with lasers, that encode data as pulses of light, can be much like that of deploying fiber-optic cable for terrestrial broadband: much faster speeds and much lower latency. “Laser links in orbit can reduce long-distance latency by as much as 50%, due to higher speed of light in vacuum & shorter path than undersea fiber,” SpaceX founder Elon Musk tweeted in July about the upgrade now beginning for that firm’s Starlink satellite constellation. The