It’s only around the corner – hard to believe but we’ll be into the 2020’s in a few short weeks. And heading into this new decade, a big talking point is Wi-Fi 6 and 5G. As cellular and Wi-Fi services have been around for a long while – this doesn’t necessarily represent a brand new breakthrough in technologies. That said, the upgrade from previous versions marks significant progress. Volume and Data speed will be radically enhanced, and latency will be further diminished. In the world of AV – this is quite significant.
So what can you expect from these two data transmission technologies? Here are our predictions on the potential of these major enhancements of existing tech infrastructure – which will have an impact for many years to come……
First of all, let’s refresh our memory as to what Wi-Fi 6 actually is. Essentially it’s the newest version of the 802.11 standard for the wireless network transmissions we call Wi-Fi.
The key thing to grasp about Wi-Fi 6 is that it will allow devices, particularly routers, to transmit Wi-Fi signals more effectively and efficiently.
Wi-Fi 6 has been coming for some time. Manufacturers have been integrating Wi-Fi 6 support and compatibility into products since late 2018 in anticipation. The main selling point naturally is better, faster internet connectivity. It is meant to create reliable, solid connectivity when many devices are being used at the same time.
Prediction 1: Wi-Fi 6 will make BYOD More Seamless
With BYOD culture along with so many company-owned wireless devices being used in offices, Wi-Fi 6 should make the work environment more simplistic for everyone. At present, routers are being taxed to capacity. but with Wi-Fi 6, all devices that are necessary can be stored on the network.
Since Wi-Fi 6 routers will be able to allow for more information in each signal they send, they’ll be able to communicate with devices faster and more efficiently. Access points can be used in different areas throughout a given location and service all of them with a single transmission.
Prediction 2: Wi-Fi 6 Will Create a Clearer Path for IoT Expansion
While the higher speeds will naturally be an improvement, it’s similar to BYOD, in the sense that its capacity will be greatly enhanced when it comes to Wi-Fi 6 impact on IoT.
More smart devices and its workings such as audio lighting and other features will be able to work efficiently on the same network. As more everyday functions of the average office go online, things like sound systems and beam tracking microphones are added to a network. Wi-Fi 6 will handle the added volume of devices and functions needed for 2020 offices to function.
5th generation cellular technology (5G) is solving similar problems but on the cellular side of the equation. On top of greater speed, users can expect lower latency, and the ability to connect a lot more devices at once.
With 5G, data transmitted through wireless broadband connections could travel at rates as high as 20 Gbos – breaking wireline network speeds – along with providing latency of 1 millisecond or lower. In fact, Latency has been one of the key issues in wireless tech for AV integrators, so if the reality conforms to the hype – this will really improve things for AV users.
Furthermore, 5G will also have increased available bandwidth to keep pace with the constantly increasing volume of data transmission demand.
Prediction 3: A Frictionless AR VR Experience
Crafting the art of high-tech storytelling is a need being met by AV integrators in sectors like museums and other location based entertainment..
With higher speed, reduced latency and reliability, 5G will be great for AR/VR applications. Signal strength and Bandwith are not necessarily essential when clients are designing and constructing a new exhibit or developing a group of AR/VR based game that occurs in a large footprint of space.
Having said all that, being practical will be essential in addressing and implementing these ideas.
Prediction 4: 5G Will continue to improve Remote Work
The benefits of remote working will only continue with the advent of 5G.
The ability to connect instantaneously and collaborate despite geographical distances is one of the key advantages of the technology. However, when there is an issue such as when a video call freezes, or a convener is left unsure if a team member is still participating that is a problem. 5G does not mean necessarily the end of all these issues but it will be a mark a significant reduction.
Prediction 5: Wi-Fi 6 and 5G Will Offer a greater Range of Solutions to AV Challenges
So, while both offer similar solutions—increased speed and bandwidth coupled with lower latency, this gives AV and IT pros some choices in customizing a solution for a specific challenge. In terms of remote collaboration, 5G will offer big solutions. For data volume management and in-house speed, Wi-Fi 6 will be natural solution.
As more is being demanded of AV infrastructure at every level of business functionality, 2020 will be a year to acknowledge and celebrate further breakthroughs – but certainly it won’t be the last of them!