Skip to main content

IEEE 802.11bn Ultra High Reliability (UHR), a.k.a. Wi-Fi 8

Back in 2020 we looked at the introductory post of Wi-Fi 7 which was followed up by a more detailed post in Feb 2022. We are now following on with an introductory post on the next generation Wi-Fi. 

A new paper on arXiv explores the journey towards IEEE 802.11bn Ultra High Reliability (UHR), the amendment that will form the basis of Wi-Fi 8. Quoting selected items from the paper below:

After providing an overview of the nearly completed Wi-Fi 7 standard, we present new use cases calling for further Wi-Fi evolution. We also outline current standardization, certification, and spectrum allocation activities, sharing updates from the newly formed UHR Study Group. We then introduce the disruptive new features envisioned for Wi-Fi 8 and discuss the associated research challenges. Among those, we focus on access point coordination and demonstrate that it could build upon 802.11be multi-link operation to make Ultra High Reliability a reality in Wi-Fi 8.

The IEEE 802.11bn UHR: Whose Study Group (SG) was established in July 2022 to support URLLC. The UHR SG will produce a new PAR defining the set of objectives, frequency bands, and technologies to be considered beyond 802.11be. The current plan is to form the UHR TG by November 2023, with a traditional single release standardization cycle that will last until 2028. This activity will define the protocol functionalities of future Wi-Fi 8 products, mainly focusing on these aspects to be improved with respect to 802.11be:

  • Data rates, even at lower signal-to-interference-plus-noise ratio (SINR) levels.
  • Tail latency and jitter, even in scenarios with mobility and overlapping BSSs (OBSSs).
  • Reuse of the wireless medium.
  • Power saving and peer-to-peer operation.

Discussions are ongoing on the specific performance targets. 

IEEE 802.11 AI/ML Topic Interest Group (TIG): Established alongside EHT TG and UHR SG to explore the use of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in Wi-Fi. This TIG aims to evaluate the feasibility of specific AI/ML-based features that could enhance Wi-Fi 8-and-beyond networks while coping with their increasing complexity.

One potential use of AI/ML is in determining optimal configurations for OBSSs, including RU assignments, carrier frequencies, modes of operation, and radiation beams and nulls. While AI/ML-driven protocols could prevent undesirable phenomena such as worst-case delay anomalies [10], currently they are primarily proprietary and limited to devices from the same vendor, making standardization and access to a wider range of data statistics crucial.

Wi-Fi 8 will be the first generation aiming to improve the protocol’s reliability, with a focus on service availability and delay guarantees. Four critical aspects impacting reliability in the unlicensed spectrum are being investigated: seamless connectivity, abundant spectrum, determinism, and controlled worst-case delay. Fig. 2 depicts examples for each, with their chief opportunities and challenges discussed in the sequel.

The key features being investigated for Wi-Fi 8 are:

  • Seamless Connectivity via Distributed Multi-link Operation (MLO)
  • Abundant Spectrum via Integrated mmWave Operations
  • Determinism via PHY and MAC Enhancements
  • Controlled Worst-Case Delay via AP Coordination

You can read the paper here.

As XR evolves to Metaverse and a lot more applications and use cases become popular, Wi-Fi is expected to play a huge role in ensuring the quality of experience these new technologies deserve. This is where Wi-Fi 7 and Wi-Fi 8 will have a huge role to play.

Related Posts


Popular posts from this blog

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

NTT Docomo's Disaster Countermeasures to Keep People Connected

Recently I blogged about Disaster Roaming in 3GPP Release-17. While this will take time to be implemented worldwide, it is already available in Japan, maybe not in the 3GPP standardised way. Similarly, back in 2011, I blogged about Earthquake and Tsunami Warning service (ETWS) from NTT Docomo's Journal, it was two days before the  2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami hit. Japan is no stranger to earthquakes, typhoons, and other natural disasters, which can have a devastating effect on infrastructure. To ensure that the mobile networks keep functioning, operators work extremely hard to ensure people remain connected one way or another. NTT Docomo has released a video detailing the countermeasures to keep everyone connected in case of emergencies. The following detail is provided with the video: DOCOMO's network is no exception, and our services could get cut off by a base station power outage, disconnected fiber-optic cable, or other malfunctions. DOCOMO established the three pr