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How Upgrades to Distributed Wi-Fi Infrastructure Impacts IoT Technologies
Distributed or mesh Wi-Fi has the ability to transform a house full of devices from loading screens to streaming and connecting flawlessly.
Jul 05, 2018—By Cees Links
Indoor Wi-Fi infrastructure (for instance, in our home or in the office) is undergoing continuous improvements as more connected devices enter the home, whether that be your smartphone and tablet or thermostat and refrigerator. This evolution has created significant challenges, though, especially as today's consumers expect data rates, capacity and range, all while having less tolerance for dead spots or interference from neighbors.
Among these three elements, capacity—multiple users using Wi-Fi at the same time—could be considered the most difficult challenge. Everybody has a router in their house, and every user is connected via the same Wi-Fi channel. This means users share the same bandwidth and raw data rate. Yet, if your son is playing online video games, your daughter is watching YouTube and your wife is in a video conference, you still expect to watch your on-demand movie without latency. These are the new Wi-Fi challenges RF technology must solve.
To put this in perspective, consider that the first version of Wi-Fi effectively used three channels (in the 2.4 GHz band) to avoid using the same channel as neighbors. Tomorrow, "modern Wi-Fi" (with .11ax) will use 40 MHz-wide channels and will effectively support many of those channels in the 2.4 GHz and the 5 GHz bands simultaneously, making it easier to stay away from the neighbors, and optimizing the usage in a home by enabling operators to have different channels via distributed Wi-Fi with multiple access points.
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