Network Capacity. It’s the New Network Speed.


Bret D., Marketing Manager - NETGEAR

As the age of the Internet of Things (IoT) emerges, the number of connected devices in our world today is clearly on the rise. WiFi is now expected to support not only our smartphones, tablets, and laptops, but also the smart TVs, thermostats, lights, security systems, wearables and the dozens of other smart devices that we’ve all come to know and love.

Because all these devices running continuous streams of low and high-bandwidth applications demand their fair share of the same WiFi spectrum, your WiFi performance often suffers.

AX WiFi is the breakthrough solution that’s developed around using WiFi more efficiently – specifically designed to solve the overcrowding WiFi issue. This latest standard of WiFi provides faster speeds and a substantial increase in network capacity, allowing more devices to connect to the network at the same time.

So how does it work?

The key feature of AX WiFi that makes capacity improvements possible is Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA). Let’s review this technology in further detail.

OFDMA Technology

With the previous and current WiFi standards (‘A’ to ‘AC’), Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing (OFDM) is used to deliver WiFi data packets. A router currently has to wait for the channel to be clear before the data transmission. Since the data is transmitted sequentially, a lot of time is wasted ‘waiting’ for the next transmission to go through.

With OFDMA, the router can simply deliver multiple data packets simultaneously, thereby reducing the amount of wait time to many more devices by splitting larger channels into smaller sub-channels. By intelligently stacking them together, OFDMA reduces the number of contention periods required to send the same amount of data packets, resulting in an efficient use of air-time, reduced latency, and increased bandwidth to add more devices to your network.

Since IoT devices mostly send out small packets of data, OFDMA enables smarter scheduling of these packets, thus allowing multiple smart home devices to be connected with minimal impact on streaming, gaming, and other data intensive applications.

In addition to network capacity improvements, OFDMA technology also increases:

  • Battery life: Battery-powered devices finish transmitting and receiving data quicker, thereby allowing the device to “sleep” and save more battery power.
  • Network Range: Typically, using smaller sub channels for small data packets makes it possible for clients to reach farther by increasing the transmission power.
  • Network Efficiency: Devices no longer use the entire frequency bandwidth for data transmission, resulting in a faster, more efficient WiFi network.

Likewise, OFDMA technology also tackles the demands of very dense environments, such as urban complexes, college campuses, concert venues, and sports stadiums, where thousands of users demand WiFi at the same time.

Now WiFi doesn’t have to play catch-up to the growing number of devices in our homes. With advanced features like OFDMA and MU-MIMO, the high-capacity, high-efficiency AX WiFi is ready for the smart home of today and tomorrow.