Wi-Fi 5, 6, and 7: Insights and Impacts on Cabling Infrastructure

Wireless Access Points (WAPs) have seen explosive growth within commercial environments over the past few years due to the proliferation of wireless devices. WAPs have significantly increased the number of clients they can simultaneously support from tens of clients to over 200 clients per WAP to accommodate the ever-increasing amount of client devices per person. By the year 2025, the average number of networked devices per person worldwide is expected to increase to between 6 and 10 per person.1 The standards and technologies supporting WAPs have also seen tremendous progress over a short period of time to accommodate this growth of wireless devices. In the span of just 10 years, wireless technology has seen 802.11n, 802.11ac (waves 1 and 2) and now 802.11ax (currently referred to as Wi-Fi 4, 5, and 6 by the Wi-Fi Alliance). Because it offers improved data rates and battery life for end devices, increased capacity and better performance in high density environments, and reduced latency, Wi-Fi 6 is poised to become the largest and fastest growing wireless standard in history.

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