Kathy Gibson is at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona – The industry is pushing towards the goal of a fully-connected intelligent world, but the challenges of capacity, bandwidth and latency threaten its smooth adoption.

This is the word from Steven Zhao, campus network domain president at Huawei Data Communications product line, who adds that WiFi 6 offers a solution that enables this intelligent connected world to empower industry transformation.

Indeed, it is thought that WiFi 6 will have been deployed by 90% of enterprises by 2023.

More smart phones will support WiFi 6 this year; there will be more WiFi 6-enabled access points; and applications including AR/VR, UHD and IoT will also start to come to market.

An important application for WiFi 6 will be educational, and it is ready to provide mixed-reality education experiences now, Zhao says.

“We can already introduce WiFi 6 into the classroom and really improve the experience for learners, as well as the quality of teaching.”

The technology is also ready for warehouse digitalisation and also for use in densely populated spaces like airports where it allows more than 200 concurrent connections, seamless roaming and location-based services.

“We believe WiFi 6 technology is the fundamental technology of the fourth industrial revolution,” Zhao says.

In Huawei’s new white paper, “Unleashing the Power of WiFi, Enterprise-Grade WiFi 6 Forecast 2019-2023”, it concludes that 2019 will be the year of WiFi 6. Collating the opinions of industry bodies and analysts, it is believed that WiFi 6 will be the basic network technology that supports enterprise production and service digitalisation.

According to the white paper, in the next three to five years, technologies such as 4K/8K Ultra HD Video, IoT, virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and automatic guided vehicle (AGV) will be widely used in education, enterprise and industrial automation.

The white paper highlights why WiFi 6 will meet future development requirements in terms of bandwidth, latency, connection quality, transmission efficiency, and terminal power consumption management.

Based on the actual application scenarios of the customer, the white paper comprehensively analyses the readiness of the WiFi 6 industry chain. The white paper states that any digital enterprise will need to leverage WiFi 6 technology to build a high-quality network with high bandwidth, low latency, and high reliability – all while ensuring it remains maintenance-free.

The WiFi Alliance redefined the naming of WiFi standards in October 2018, putting forward new generational terminology and the name WiFi 6.

“The future development of the WiFi industry is exciting,” Zhao adds. “The WiFi network has become an important part of enterprise digital transformation. However, the current enterprise wireless networks are faced with the challenges of poor experience, complex O&M and low security.”

“As WiFi enters its 20th year, we are excited to see broad adoption of WiFi 6 which will improve the WiFi user experience by enhancing performance, capacity, and coverage,” says Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO of the WiFi Alliance. “WiFi Alliance will launch WiFi Certified 6 in the third quarter of 2019, providing assurances that devices meet industry-agreed interoperability and security standards.”