The ubiquitous presence of Wi-Fi technology has not only allowed it to become one of our mainstream communication tools, but it is now seen as a basic social service that's recognized globally. According to the COVID-19 and the Economic Value of Wi-Fi paper proposed by the Wi-Fi Alliance, global Wi-Fi traffic increased by 80% during the epidemic. Throughout the day, and in particular for the working period from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., maximum Wi-Fi traffic increased by 94%, almost doubling what it was before the onslaught of the pandemic.
Since its creation in 1997, Wi-Fi has undergone seven generations of standard evolution, from the first generation 802.11 to the latest 802.11be, that is, Wi-Fi 7. Wi-Fi 7 inherits the 6 GHz spectrum of Wi-Fi 6E on the basis of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Enjoying innovative technologies such as multi-link operation, Wi-Fi 7 further improves space resource utilization and increases the theoretical Wi-Fi rate to 30 Gbps, achieving a threefold increase as compared to Wi-Fi 6.
Huawei has been an active participant in the formulation of Wi-Fi industry standards, and actively contributes to the future of the entire industry. For example, Dr. Osama of Huawei has served as the chairman of the 802.11ax (Wi-Fi 6) Task Group, and Dr. Edward, as the technical editor of the 802.11be (Wi-Fi 7) Task Group, and have been fully involved in the formulation and release of the Wi-Fi 7 standard.
Over the years, Huawei has been committed to investing vast human capital and material resources in the Wi-Fi standard formulation. According to a public report released in 2021, Huawei is on record for submitting the largest number of Wi-Fi 7 standard contributions. Beyond that, Huawei is also the leading contributor in terms of standard contributions for Wi-Fi 4, 5, 6, and 7. So far, Huawei has accumulated many innovative technologies and patents, and has been the front-runner in the Wi-Fi industry standards.
On September 20, Huawei launched the industry's first enterprise-class Wi-Fi 7 AP at HUAWEI CONNECT 2022 in Bangkok, helping enterprises develop more innovative applications.
• Ultra-high performance: Innovative software features, such as CoSR and multi-OFDMA, greatly improve spectrum utilization and upgrade the maximum rate to 18.67 Gbps.
• Optimal experience: After the 6 GHz radio of the AP is switched to 5 GHz, the AP works with one 2.4 GHz radio and two 5 GHz radios. Furthermore, the built-in Dynamic-Zoom Smart Antennas of the AP can intelligently adapt to omnidirectional and high-density scenarios.
• Phenomenal reliability: Huawei's innovative air interface slicing and dual fed and selective receiving features help to control the latency within 10 ms and achieve 99.999% reliability. A further innovation is the hardware architecture of the AP, which reduces its board layers from 5 to only 3. With no antenna reflector boards, feeders or shielding cover is no longer needed, significantly improving the reliability of hardware.
Huawei AirEngine Wi-Fi 7 series APs open the door to new experiences. Innovative Wi-Fi technologies can be used in a wider range of scenarios. For example, in the metaverse and XR remote collaboration scenarios, Huawei's innovative software features provide ultra-high bandwidth, low latency, and highly reliable communications to achieve a real-time response. In addition, Wi-Fi 7 APs can connect to a large number of IoT devices simultaneously. This in turn provides powerful performance, excellent experience, and extraordinary reliability to help enterprises construct an intelligent IoT world.
All wireless communications need to obtain the right of way (ROW) for air interface communications. The ROW is often referred to as spectrum. For example, the 6 GHz frequency band adopted by Wi-Fi 7 creates an additional 1200 MHz spectrum, offering seven 160 MHz channels or three 320 MHz channels. Leveraging the 6 GHz frequency band, Wi-Fi 7 supports ultra-large bandwidth of at least 30 Gbps, 2.4 times that of the 5 GHz frequency band.。
However, due to this technology being relatively new, the outlook for the commercial use of Wi-Fi 7 is challenging to say the least. This is mainly due to the ambiguity of 6 GHz spectrum licensing, and an incomplete industry chain for Wi-Fi 7. According to survey data, only 25 of 233 countries and regions have explicitly granted use of Wi-Fi 7, and more than 200 countries and regions have not formulated clear policies for the use of the 6 GHz frequency band, imposing challenges in the application of Wi-Fi 7 technologies. Huawei's AirEngine Wi-Fi 7 AP can switch the 6 GHz radio to 5 GHz, and work with one 2.4 GHz radio and dual 5 GHz radios, addressing the preceding challenges. It is predicted that Wi-Fi 7 APs will be put into limited commercial use from 2023 to 2024, while the Wi-Fi 6 industry has entered the maturity stage. Therefore, Wi-Fi 6 will remain dominant over the next one to two years.
Huawei is and remains committed to helping all its customers build fast, stable, and smart fully-wireless networks through innovative technologies. To introduce the software capabilities of Wi-Fi 7 to Wi-Fi 6, Huawei proposes the Wi-Fi 6 Advanced technical framework, which extends Wi-Fi 6 from workplace scenarios to industrial manufacturing. In addition to several new features for Wi-Fi 7, Huawei's Wi-Fi 6 Advanced technical framework upgrades Wi-Fi 6 technologies by introducing network-wide gigabit, real-time intelligent control, and harmonized IoT and sensing.
• Network-wide gigabit: Based on exclusive innovative technologies, such as Dynamic-Zoom Smart Antennas and CoSR, the connections of production line devices reach the network-wide gigabit performance, meeting the full performance requirements of applications, such as machine vision inspection in the production line.
• Real-time intelligent control: Huawei proposes three innovative technologies, namely, air interface slicing, dual fed and selective receiving, and lossless roaming, to provide high reliability and ultra-low latency for real-time services. Air interface slicing can provide ultra-high reliability and ultra-low latency of 99.999% at 10 ms for periodic services, delivering deterministic experience for services. Additionally, the innovative dual fed and selective receiving technology provides 99.999% reliability, and lossless roaming technology ensures zero packet loss and a roaming handover delay of less than 10 ms.
• Harmonized IoT and sensing: The IoT of a production system is complex, and various subsystems cannot communicate with each other. Huawei launched the Wi-Fi & IoT convergence solution, which extends IoT capabilities through built-in IoT slots, external USB ports, and built-in IoT chips, to support IoT protocols such as Bluetooth, RFID, and ZigBee. AirEngine Wi-Fi 6 APs support SD-IoT and provide various open interfaces through built-in containers. Third-party applications can be expanded on demand to detect IoT terminal status and process data in a timely manner at the edge. In addition, Huawei has developed the iConnect protocol, which provides functions such as access and authentication modules. iConnect enables a network to automatically discover and accurately identify various IoT terminals, enabling secure and unaware access to wireless networks.
Huawei extends innovative Wi-Fi technologies to manufacturing scenarios, allowing users to enjoy new experiences, which are offered in advanced by Wi-Fi 7. This ensures a seamless transition to next-generation technologies without wasting customers' capital, meeting the network infrastructure requirements of most enterprise scenarios in the next three years.