When building networks in the ‘real world’ like city centers, stadiums, apartment buildings, and even office buildings, we frequently come across situations where many access points, installed independently or managed as one network, create overlapping coverage areas. When these access points choose to use the same channel, the performance of all users in such an area is reduced, as the Wi-Fi algorithm used to avoid collisions on the air is quite conservative.
One focus of the next Wi-Fi standard, 802.11ax is to improve the performance of ‘real-world’ networks. To this end, the new standard includes a feature enabling more simultaneous transmissions. This feature is known as ‘spatial reuse’ or ‘BSS coloring.’