As we explore the new features appearing in 802.11ax, the list is unbalanced. Some would say there’s a pig in the python. One feature – OFDMA – seems much more significant than the others. First, a brief background, then a view of its implications.
A Quick Review of OFDMA
OFDMA (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access) is an extension of the OFDM (Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) architecture. OFDM takes an RF channel, such as the 20 MHz channel often used in Wi-Fi, and instead of using a single carrier-frequency modulated by AM, FM, or other means, sets out a number of sub-carriers. 802.11ac used 52 data-carrying sub-carriers in a 20 MHz RF channel, while 802.11ax has 234.