What do Hospitals need to do about Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) Today?

By Jim Holt

802.11 ax is coming and the Wi-Fi Alliance has designated it Wi-Fi 6.

It’s placed in current Wi-Fi designations:

  • Wi-Fi 6 is identified with 802.11ax (currently 802.11ax is in draft)
  • Wi-Fi 5 is identified with 802.11ac
  • Wi-Fi 4 is identified with 802.11n

The new naming convention is to help provide a method that’s easy to understand. The latest number will reference the latest wireless technology and certify devices for specific wireless designations.

The question in the title was “what should you do about it today? Because 802.11ax is not a standard yet and there are no Wi-Fi 6 clients yet. It is still a draft at the time of this writing. BUT, you should START YOUR PLANNING because WiFi 6 is a new era and promises breakthrough performance.

Great Wi-Fi Starts with Planning, Assessing, Surveys, and Design…

To deploy a high performing WLAN, in which your workforce heavily relies on, requires more than guesswork. It requires a requirements discussion, an assessment, a wireless site survey using the new technologies and expert design.

It is the most important step in your planning to ensure proper requirements. The explosion of clinical smartphones, tablets, and even IoT tracking technologies join nursing laptops to strain the very fabric of the network and security. Add to that an inventory of skills and experience in your IT staff related to the idiosyncrasies of RF and WLAN design and configuration, it is advised and inexpensive to plan now.

Your Use Case requirements may include data, voice, location, mobility, capacity and guest network. Our network and wireless network assessment will uncover all issues related to the core network, access point locations, channels, power, signal to noise, controller software version and selections. In addition, rogue wireless and security settings will be added to a remediation list even before upgrade planning begins.

Then when it’s time, we’ll perform a real-time physical site survey, there is no theory here, what you see is what you get. As we move into the design and redesign of the wireless network, we can go big bang or in phases to match criticality, budget, investment protection, and clinical requirements. Regardless, the results will be readiness for 802.11 ax and an extraordinary experience for your users’ clinical success.

It is after all a Clinical Network and it should be continuously available, secure and high performing – That’s what we call “Wireless Done Right”.