Wireless roundup: WiFi 6, CBRS

Sept. 17, 2019
Things are heating up in the wireless technology space, particularly with WiF and CBRS. The Wireless Broadband Alliance has announced official certification of WiFi 6, also ...

Things are heating up in the wireless technology space, particularly with WiF and CBRS.

The Wi-Fi Alliance [Editor's note: And not the Wireless Broadband Association, as the original version of this story may have implied] has launched official certification of WiFi 6, also known as IEEE 802.11ax. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification program from the Wi-Fi Alliance is now available for vendors of components and finished products to ensure conformance with the specification. WiFi 6, four times faster than the previous iteration, is designed to support orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), multi-user multiple input multiple output (MU-MIMO), 160 MHz channels, target wake time (TWT) to improve battery life,1,024-QAM, and transmit beamforming.

Some companies with early WiFi 6 certification include Broadcom, Cypress, Intel, Marvell, Qualcomm, and Ruckus.

CommScope (NASDAQ:COMM) and Ruckus Networks - now part of CommScope via the ARRIS acquisition - have both just introduced WiFi 6 products.

CommScope has made two additions to its RDK Video Accelerator portfolio: a Smart Media Device (SMD) platform 7852 featuring WiFi 6 connectivity, as well as an IP Client VIP7802 with WiFi 6. Both devices include AOMedia Video 1 (AV1) and high dynamic range (HDR) capabilities.

Each platform is designed to support RDK for video development.

"Our new SMD and IP client platforms redefine the entertainment experiences that service providers can deliver to the home," said Joe Chow, senior vice president and segment leader, Customer Premises Equipment at CommScope. " Our customers already recognize the high efficiency and customizability that CommScope's RDK Video Accelerator offers. And now, these two new platforms provide a foundation of next-generation technology to reflect CommScope vision for tomorrow's Smart Media Device connected home experiences, applications, and services."

CommScope is demonstrating the SMD and IP Client platforms at IBC2019 in Amsterdam.

Ruckus Networks' R750 802.11ax indoor WiFi access point (AP) has Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 certification. The AP is intended for dense client environments such as stadiums, hotels, convention centers and schools.

"In keeping with a long tradition of WiFi firsts, the Ruckus R750 is one of the first Wi-Fi CERTIFIED 6 access points," said Morgan Kurk, chief technology officer at CommScope. "Designed for high-density connectivity in heterogeneous client environments, the R750 bridges the performance gap from gigabit WiFi to multi-gigabit WiFi. This capability is becoming critical in demanding environments such stadiums, hotels and even primary and K-12 schools."

The Ruckus R750 is a dual-band, dual-concurrent Wi-Fi 6 AP that supports eight spatial streams (4x4:4 in 5 GHz, 4x4:4 in 2.4 GHz), 3.5 Gbps aggregate throughput and embedded Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and Zigbee radios.

In Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) news, the FCC has issued public notification DA-19-915 authorizing organizations across a variety of verticals to put 150 MHz of CBRS spectrum to use for a number of applications, including fixed wireless access, small cell deployments and in-building and private LTE networks.

Among such organizations, CommScope again stands out. The company has received official notification from the FCC that its spectrum access system (SAS) to support CBRS is now certified for initial commercial deployment. CommScope initial commercial deployments will address fixed wireless access, private LTE and IoT use cases in multiple markets.

"This is an exciting time for CBRS," said Ben Cardwell, senior vice president of Mobility Solutions, CommScope. "After years of collaboration with industry and government on CBRS, CommScope is pleased to enter the last phase of SAS certification and is prepared to move to full commercial service offering a complete portfolio of CBRS solutions for use cases and business opportunities."

CommScope sees the value of CBRS in many business verticals, including manufacturing. These benefits are already recognized in CommScope's manufacturing facility in Euless, Texas using CBRS devices managed by the CommScope SAS to provide high-bandwidth, low latency connections to remote video equipment monitoring the facility. Select IoT devices are also connected to the CommScope private LTE CBRS network.        

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