The IoT is capable of saturating current Wi-Fi networks, but there is a solution: Wi-Fi 6 comes to the rescue
“My neighbors have so many IoT devices that they have basically loaded the entire 2.4 GHz spectrum.” The complaint is real: a user I did it recently and told how he was running out of coverage on that band, which is used by the still popular 802.11n connections.
Although 802.11ac networks (Wi-Fi 5) pose an alternative to take advantage of the 5 GHz band, but the problem is that although the transfer speed is higher, its range and coverage is less. Fortunately IoT devices have a promising future thanks to Wi-Fi 6 networks that little by little are curdling in the market.
IoT in the face of saturation of the 2.4 GHz band
The Internet of Things (IoT) promises a future in which everything will be connected, but that poses a problem: today’s Wi-Fi networks are not ready for a world in which dozens of devices share the same Wi-Fi network.
The problem, as that user commented, is that current IoT devices make use of the 2.4 GHz frequency band, also used for computers that connect to 802.11n networks in that same band.
This user’s neighbors appeared to be using multiple networks through a Wi-Fi Mesh system, and they had channel 1 and channel 6 fully saturated, causing them to the signal-to-noise ratio will be very negatively affected to your connection at home.
Even when trying to use Wi-Fi networks in the 5 GHz band, I had another problem: the coverage of those networks was not optimal at home and there were areas where only a good signal reached the 2.4 GHz networks, but this was saturated by the IoT devices of its neighbors.
Many weapons for a future overloaded with connected devices
There are potential solutions to this problem: the affected user can always use a repeater for your Wi-Fi in the 5 GHz band, but you can also connect by cable and forget about the problems of a saturated Wi-Fi network.
The other option is usar redes Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax), which have various technical improvements that help to deal with precisely those problems. Among them are the following:
- OFDMA– A multiplexing system that allows subcarrier sets to be assigned to individual users. This solution allows increasing the efficiency of the connection in scenarios with a high density of devices such as those posed by the future of IoT.
- MU-MIMOAnother key component for transmitting and receiving data to and from multiple devices, and that works in conjunction with OFDMA for that efficiency in saturation situations.
- Spatial Frequency Reuse: This mechanism allows access points and clients to ignore transmissions from other channels, which are identified with “colors” (they are not real colors) and that again help the signals not to interfere with each other.
The promise of Wi-Fi 6 is therefore remarkable, especially since it can also work simultaneously on both frequency bands (2.4 and 5 GHz), and as we know she has received a complementary version, Wi-Fi 6E, which goes further thanks to the use of the 6 GHz band.
These new wireless standards are therefore a good answer to those needs posed by the promising Internet of Things. Taking into account the rise of home automation and all kinds of connected devices, it seems that Wi-Fi 6 will be a fundamental pillar of that future.