Technology

The Main Ingredient of 802.11ax: OFDMA

In previous blogs, we have discussed many 802.11ax PHY and MAC enhancements including BSS color, spatial reuse, Multi-TID AMPDU, 20 MHz-only clients and more. However, we have not yet dedicated a lot of blog discussion about the main 802.11ax enhancement that offers the biggest bang for the buck: OFDMA. 802.11a/g/n/ac radios currently use Orthogonal Frequency […]

What Benefits Does Dual 5 GHz Bring To 802.11ax?

Last week we discussed the 4×4:4 vs 8×8:8 debate with 802.11ax. This week I want to wrap up that debate and also highlight the benefits of dual 5 GHz support in 802.11ax APs. The Aerohive 802.11ax chipset provides for a 2.4 GHz (4×4:4) radio and a 5 GHz (4×4:4) radio. However, one of the radios […]

Does The Number of Spatial Streams in 802.11ax Really Matter?

802.11ax has arrived, and with that, you will see many vendors announcing their 802.11ax access points in the coming months. We have discussed numerous capabilities of 802.11ax on this blog, however, there is one question that has come up recently. What is the difference between a 4×4:4 AP and an 8×8:8 AP? Which do I […]

Will 802.11ax Make 80 MHz and 160 MHz Channels Usable in the Enterprise?

A question that I keep getting asked about 802.1­­­1ax technology is: “Will 802.11ax make 80 MHz and 160 MHz channels usable in the enterprise?” In theory, BSS color combined with the spatial reuse operation could provide the capability to take advantage of 80 MHz channels in the enterprise. However, this would be practical only if legacy […]

Dueling NAVs in 802.11ax

Wi-Fi radios use two methods of carrier sense to determine if the RF medium is busy and possibly defer transmissions. The clear channel assessment (CCA) is a physical carrier sense mechanism which works together with MAC layer virtual carrier sense. Virtual carrier sense uses a timer mechanism known as the network allocation vector (NAV). In previous […]

What is PoE (Power Over Ethernet) Budgeting?

Chris and I talk about PoE (power over ethernet) budgeting in this latest video.

How Does BSS Coloring Work in 802.11ax?

A basic service set (BSS) is the cornerstone topology of any 802.11 network. The communicating devices that make up a BSS consist of one AP radio with one or more client stations. In the last blog, we discussed how BSS color is a numerical identifier of a BSS. BSS color, also known as BSS coloring, […]

What is BSS Color in 802.11ax?

As we discussed in the last few blogs, Carrier Sense Multiple Access with Collision Avoidance (CSMA/CA) dictates half-duplex communications, and it says only one radio can transmit on the same channel at any given time. An 802.11 radio will defer transmissions if it hears the PHY preamble transmissions of any other 802.11 radio. Unnecessary medium contention […]

What’s The Biggest Cause Of Co-Channel Interference?

In my last blog, What is a Clear Channel Assessment?, we discussed the difference between the signal detect (SD) threshold and the energy detect (ED) thresholds used by Wi-Fi radios to determine if the RF medium is busy. The ED threshold is used to detect any non-Wi-Fi transmissions while the SD the threshold is used to […]

What is a Clear Channel Assessment (CCA)?

The CSMA/CA protocol utilizes a line of defense to ensure that any Wi-Fi radio does not transmit while another is already transmitting on the same channel. The 802.11-2016 standard defines a physical carrier sense mechanism to determine if the radio frequency (RF) medium is busy. Physical carrier sense is performed constantly by all Wi-Fi radios […]