A wi-fi symbol illustrates the idea of how campus IT leaders need to know about wi-fi 6.

What every higher-ed IT pro should know about Wi-Fi 6

Critical answers to 3 key Wi-Fi 6 questions that will help you make smart decisions for your next Wi-Fi deployment

With many of today’s students bringing an average of eight or nine devices to campus, it’s no surprise that the latest Educause survey shows nearly all students rate laptops and smartphones as very important to academic success. As mobility expectations and device densities continue their precipitous ascent, higher education institutions are now exploring infrastructure adjustments that will help them keep up. If you’re among those considering your options, here’s what you need to know about Wi-Fi 6.

Related content: The answer to better campus Wi-Fi

What is Wi-Fi 6?

Having anticipated today’s device realities, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) began working on the successor to 802.11ac in 2014. Originally dubbed 802.11ax, the standard is also now known as Wi-Fi 6. Access points (APs) built upon the Wi-Fi 6 standard are on the market and higher ed deployments are already underway.

Concurrently, the Wi-Fi Alliance, the industry association that owns the “Wi-Fi” trademark, began developing the accompanying certifications that ensure interoperability and security among mobile product manufacturers. Its Wi-Fi Certified 6 program is slated for availability in the third quarter of 2019, meaning your institution will likely see the first wave of certified Wi-Fi 6 devices on campus after winter break in the coming academic year.

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