Saturday, 4th July 2020

The real benefits of WiFi 6

Following the announcement that the new WiFi standard 802.11ax is on its way, businesses will be looking forward to sitting back and basking in the faster connection speeds that await. However, they could be missing out on a host of additional advantages. By Patrick Hirscher, EMEA Wireless Market Development Manager at Zyxel.

More commonly and pithily referred to as ‘WiFi 6’, the impending upgrade’s speedier impact will of course be an advantage in itself. Upgrading alone is a necessary and positive step. Speed increases up to 40% have been mooted in comparison to previous technologies and, as such, enterprise operations will accelerate into new territory.

Why stop there though? As a new differentiating factor, businesses should be looking beyond the obvious to extract peripheral advantages from the advent of WiFi 6, and to inject a little more acceleration into their own development.

Mobile enhancement

The first mode of potential differentiation actually taps into a trend simultaneously engulfing industry at the moment. Mobile, remote and flexible working has been a natural consequence of the rise of IoT and BYOD, but companies – especially SMEs – have often had to proceed into these territories with caution so far.

Will employees be extracting the same performance from their own systems away from their desk? Will interconnectivity be affected?

Well, it’s safe to say that with WiFi 6, performance in crowded or fragmented areas will no longer be a concern. Not only that, but the duration available to employees looking to get away from their desks and to ‘go mobile’ will also be enhanced with the promise of longer battery life under the watch of WiFi 6.

Essentially, speed facilitates mobilisation – a notion not to be ignored when so much job attractiveness is attached to employee flexibility at present. You’ll not only be diversifying your own office landscape, but making yourself more appealing to prospective hires in the process.

Be the most valuable player in your own value chain

Increased speed, efficiency and performance across your internal systems will also be hugely appealing to business partners and fellow peers along your supply chain.

Range of deployment is greatly improved by increased network speeds, creating an equally impressive range of opportunity for subscribers, and indeed business partners. Tapping into a new WiFi experience will bring both sets of relationships what they seek above all else during business dealings – unprecedented efficiency, quality and security with reduced risk.

Reducing OpEx

With improved speed, efficiency and quality inevitably comes less maintenance. At face value this contributes to reduced downtime, heightened confidence in your company’s operations and the technologies running them, and a more content workforce.

At actual value, the benefits are even more tangible. Operational expenditures are so inherently intertwined with digitisation these days. The one thing you can’t afford to falter in your daily workings is your technology; driven often by your connection speeds.

Data storage and management, administration both internally and externally, file preservation, research and real-time knowledge building, even socially through the significance of social media and chat applications are all now pivotal to a company’s daily operations, and all of their success and speed are dictated by network strength.

When any of the above strands breakdown, the maintenance that is required can often be costly, but is certainly necessary. To move forward in the knowledge that the likelihood of such breakdowns have been greatly reduced goes beyond instilling confidence; and actually impacts overheads.

For one package deal to upgrade to WiFi 6, companies will potentially be offsetting a host of future outlays; and this is before taking into account the financial spikes that will occur as a result of aforementioned benefits including an improved and enriched workforce, a more loyal and high-performing supply chain, and more seamless administrative procedures.

Don’t get left behind

As is always the case with a new technological breakthrough or unveiling, WiFi 6 will soon become the norm. 5G is on the verge of having a similar impact as we enter 2020, while IoT, big data and AI are already separating businesses from their competitors through the way they’re being utilised.

WiFi 6 is likely to have a similar impact, and perhaps the biggest benefit of all will be not to get left behind. Finding differentiators in its application and nuances is important, but upgrading in general will become pivotal. If even one of your closest industry competitors beats you to the punch in terms of both adoption and application then all other strands you may have been able to differentiate with could fall by the wayside. You’ll already be beaten to improved administrative performance; to enhanced supply chain and HR attractiveness; to reduced maintenance and subsequent downtime; and to cost savings at the end of it all.

Step one is keeping at least in line with, and ideally ahead of the curve. Prepare for the speed that WiFi 6 will bring, by picking up the pace yourself.

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