From the WLPC Prague presentation. We’ll go over our presentation and what we’ve found about Wi-Fi 6 from our testing.
You can watch our WLPC Prague presentation on YouTube from the WLAN Pros channel. It will include a live Wi-Fi 6 demo where we include the audience.
The demo consisted of 10 WLANpi running iPerf3 servers. We asked people in the audience to connect their Wi-Fi 6 devices to an Aerohive AP broadcasting Wi-Fi 6, of course. A Jetson Nano was used to capture frames.
The presentation slides can be found here.
Watch the presentation below:
Our process included:
As of this recording, Wi-Fi 6 still remains in draft. It is not expected to become a standard until late 2020. Today, we are currently over the peak of inflated expectations.
At WLPC Prague, we asked the audience three questions:
- Do you own a Wi-Fi 6 device?
- Have you deployed a Wi-Fi 6 network?
- Have you ever connected to a Wi-Fi 6 network that wasn’t yours?
To start learning about Wi-Fi 6, we had to start with the theory. That meant getting the source of all information regarding 802.11ax. There were other resources we used as well:
- 802.11ax Draft 4
- Aruba’s 802.11ax document
- Cisco’s IEEE 802.11ax – The Sixth Generation of Wi-Fi
- Aerohive’s 802.11ax for Dummies
- National Instruments’ Introduction to 802.11ax High-Efficiency Wireless
- Wireless Broadband Alliance’s Wi-Fi 6 white papers
- CWNA Study Guide (Chapter 19)
- Gjermund’s Airtime Calculator
What about the Wi-Fi Alliance?
- Marketing 802.11ax
- Wi-Fi 6 certification
- What makes a device Wi-Fi 6 certified?
- How many are certified today?
- Wi-Fi 6
We needed to get our hands on Wi-Fi 6 equipment. There very little devices available but we managed to get ahold of Wi-Fi 6 access points and two Wi-Fi 6 devices.
Knowing your chipsets can make or break your Wi-Fi 6 capabilities.
Our equipment included:
Wi-Fi 6 in Practice
How did we test Wi-Fi 6? Our goal was to test the various features of Wi-Fi 6. These were based on simplicity. Just to test functionality.
First, we wanted to see what was advertised. We used frame captures to identify feature support.
To capture Wi-Fi 6 frames you need a Wi-Fi 6 device that can demodulate the signal. We tried using Wi-Fi 6 APs but we were missing frames. We stuck to the Jetson Nano as it ran Ubuntu with an Intel AX200. It was more capable of capturing than a Cisco C9115.
We used iPerf 3 to test performance. We used a Sidekick to see if OFDMA was used but we were unsuccessful.
Wi-Fi 6 Party & Captures
- Remote packet capture on Jetson Nano
- WiFi Explorer Plugin
- Cisco C9115AXI sniffer modes
Are we able to acquire 1024 QAM? How likely are we to use higher MCS rates?
- Firmware is our limitation.
- 1024-QAM does work (only observed on 5GHz)
- Range of 1024-QAM is not that great
- Better with 4×4:4 APs
- Generally higher data rates (mostly due to 1024-QAM)
- Might not reflect in real-world deployments
- More fluctuation in data rates
- Wi-Fi 6 doesn’t mean OFDMA
- Spectrum efficiency doesn’t seem to be at its best yet
- Might need more power than PoE+