Today we focus on when new 802.11ax access points and client devices will become available. The Wi-Fi industry has made these questions uniquely difficult to answer, but this blog explains what we expect to happen. If you have the patience, save these predictions for rereading toward the end of 2019!
The three important milestones along the path to commercial equipment are the IEEE 802.11ax standard, the Wi-Fi Alliance 11ax certification, and integrated circuit chips. These are a sequence in time, but with a lot of overlap.
The First Milestone: IEEE
The IEEE writes standards: very detailed definitions of the packet formats, fields, and functions that make the protocols work. IEEE 802.11ax is written as an amendment to the current 802.11 standards and eventually will be folded into the mainstream 802.11 document. Even as an amendment, however, it is 600 pages long. Getting every detail of such a standard correct requires scrutiny from many experts, and the IEEE process involves reviewing drafts and submitting comments and corrections, which then update new drafts, and are reviewed again.