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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)

  • Tri-band support

  • 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.

Download the White Paper