A trial of next generation Wi-Fi delivering Mixed Reality and 4K video streaming across a factory network has been successfully completed.
The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA), the body leading development of next generation Wi-Fi services, said the completion of its phase one trial of Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure and services at the Mettis Aerospace factory is an important part of its test and development programme.
The trial took place at the 27-acre Mettis Aerospace facility in the West Midlands in collaboration with WBA member companies including Broadcom, Cisco, iBwave and Intel as well as Concurrent Engineering and Keysight.
Tests included applications of 4K video streaming, large scale file transfers, messaging and voice/video communications as well as the first stage of IoT sensor and mixed reality testing.
Previous implementation tests with Wi-Fi failed to work in Mettis’ challenging factory environment. During the trial, speeds of 700 Mbps using 80 MHz channels were achieved and low latency applications, like video calling and video streaming, performed well with results below 6ms.
WBA CEO Tiago Rodrigues said: "These results proved that Wi-Fi 6 infrastructure can operate well in the presence of interference and noise in a complex and challenging factory environment as well as deliver high quality services for monitoring and maximising machinery performance, minimising downtime, and improving communications on the factory floor.
“The completion of this initial phase marks a significant milestone for the adoption of Wi-Fi 6.
"The Mettis facility is an especially challenging environment for wireless communications with furnaces, presses and heat, a lot of moving heavy machinery and the presence of dust and in-air particulates.
"Nevertheless, the field tests in this highly charged atmosphere have proven that Wi-Fi 6 technology works well and can play a vital role within the industrial enterprise and IoT ecosystem. If Wi-Fi 6 can deliver highly reliable, high quality and high bandwidth communications in this type of factory environment, then it can deliver it almost anywhere."