Key Considerations for Wi-Fi 6E Testing
Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing Access (OFDMA) introduced in Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) is one of the most important features in this generation of Wi-Fi technology. However, testing Wi-Fi 6E OFDMA can be a challenging task due to the complex nature of features defined in 802.11ax standard.
Wi-Fi 6/6E refers to the IEEE 802.11 standard based Wireless Local Area Network (WLAN) technology that introduces several new enhancements compared to previous generations of Wi-Fi solutions. Wi-Fi 6E is based on the IEEE 802.11ax standard. As an extension of Wi-Fi 6, it enables the operation of features in the unlicensed 6 GHz band, in addition to the currently supported 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands . Wi-Fi 6/6E provides networks the capacity, efficiency, and performance required to support next-generation applications. In addition to 6 GHz operation, Wi-Fi 6/6E will soon encompass the “Release 2” set of features identified by the Wi-Fi Alliance and referred to as Wi-Fi 6/6E R2.
The IEEE 802.11ax standard on which Wi-Fi 6/6E is based includes the following enhancements and improvements compared to previous generations of Wi-Fi:
Enhanced operation in 2.4GHz, 5 GHz, and new 6 GHz bands
Increased average throughput per station by at least 4x in dense deployment scenarios
Environments including indoor AND outdoor operation
Scenarios include dense public area, corporate office, outdoor hotspot, dense residential apartments, and stadiums
Improved power efficiency of the stations
Some of the major improvements introduced in this new WLAN standard include:
Higher order modulation with 1024 QAM support for ~20% higher rates
Downlink and uplink Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA),
Downlink and uplink Multiuser, Multi-Input, Multiple- Output (MU-MIMO)
Longer OFDM symbol with symbol duration increased by 4x
Target Wake Time (TWT)
Basic Service Set (BSS) color for spatial re-use
Support for up to 8 spatial streams
This white paper provides an overview of 802.11ax, OFDMA triggering mechanisms, info exchange protocol, and MU PPDU transmission. It also offers an in-depth look at the essentials for OFDMA testing with a special focus on OFDMA operational scenarios. The latest industry-leading solutions will be shared for testing Wi-Fi 6E enhancements in a controlled environment and creating realistic, meaningful traffic models for OFDMA use cases.