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IEEE 802.11ah Solution Redefines IoT Connectivity with Fastest 8MHz Channel Throughput, Lowest Power Consumption and Smallest Size

SYDNEY and IRVINE, Calif., July 13, 2021 – Morse Micro, a fabless semiconductor company reinventing Wi-Fi® for the Internet of Things (IoT), today announced the availability of Wi-Fi HaLow system-on-chip (SoC) and module samples to early access partners and key customers. These samples, combined with Morse Micro’s easy-to-use evaluation kits, give developers the opportunity to evaluate the market-leading throughput, power efficiency and extended range of the company’s Wi-Fi HaLow solutions.

Morse Micro’s comprehensive Wi-Fi HaLow portfolio includes the industry’s smallest, fastest and lowest power IEEE 802.11ah compliant SoCs. The MM6104 SoC supports 1, 2 and 4 MHz channel bandwidth. The higher performance MM6108 SoC supports 1, 2, 4 and 8 MHz bandwidth and is capable of delivering tens of Mbps throughput to support streaming HD video. These Wi-Fi HaLow SoCs provide 10x the range, 100x the area and 1000x the volume of traditional Wi-Fi solutions.

Using narrow frequency bands in the unlicensed sub-1 GHz spectrum outside the highly congested 2.4 GHz traditional Wi-Fi band, Wi-Fi HaLow signals penetrate obstacles more easily and can extend beyond 1 km, connecting far-flung IoT devices across residential, retail, office park, campus, warehouse and factory environments. Developed specifically for the IoT and supporting the latest WPA3 security, a single Wi-Fi HaLow access point (AP) can connect up to 8,191 devices, simplifying network deployment and reducing costs.

“The massive capacity and extended range of our Wi-Fi HaLow solution, combined with market-leading power efficiency and 8MHz channel throughput, will redefine Wi-Fi connectivity for the IoT,” said Michael De Nil, co-founder and chief executive officer at Morse Micro. “As a co-chair of the Wi-Fi HaLow Task Group, Morse Micro is actively promoting Wi-Fi Alliance certification and progressing in the HaLow certification program. By delivering IEEE 802.11ah-compliant SoC and module samples for evaluation, we’re helping our partners and customers accelerate the market shift to Wi-Fi HaLow technology.”

Morse Micro’s standards-based Wi-Fi HaLow solutions leverage the industry’s most ubiquitous wireless protocol, Wi-Fi, to expand connectivity across the IoT ecosystem and overcome the fundamental weaknesses of existing wireless technologies by offering ultra-low power, longer range and secure connections at much higher capacities. Morse Micro’s diverse portfolio of SoCs, modules, software, IP and patents is playing a critical role in accelerating Wi-Fi HaLow deployment. The company’s Wi-Fi HaLow solutions address commercial, residential and industrial IoT markets in applications such as access control, security cameras, industrial automation, retail and mobile devices at throughputs and ranges that will enable new IoT use cases.

Purpose-Built SoCs for Wi-Fi HaLow Connectivity

Designed in compliance with the IEEE 802.11ah standard, Morse Micro’s Wi-Fi HaLow SoC family is poised to redefine low-power, long-reach Wi-Fi connectivity for the IoT.  MM6108 and MM6104 SoCs provide a single-chip Wi-Fi HaLow solution incorporating the radio, PHY and MAC and offering data rates that range from tens of Mbps to hundreds of Kbps at the farthest range. The radio supports operation in sub-GHz ISM bands worldwide between 750 MHz and 950 MHz.

The MM6108 and MM6104 RF interface provides the option to use on-chip amplification for typical low-power, low-cost IoT devices, or an additional external PCB-mounted power amplifier (PA) or front-end module (FEM) for ultra-long-reach applications. The RF receiver utilizes a high-linearity low-noise amplifier (LNA).

Morse Micro’s low-power IC design, combined with the IEEE 802.11ah standard, enables extended sleep times and lower power consumption for battery-operated client devices, achieving longer battery life durations than other existing IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax generations.

Morse Micro MM6108 and MM6104 SoCs Key Features

  • IEEE 802.11ah Wi-Fi HaLow transceiver for low-power, long-reach IoT applications
  • Radio supporting worldwide sub-1 GHz frequency bands
  • On-chip power amplifier with support for external FEM option
  • Power management unit (PMU) supporting ultra-low-power operation modes
  • WPA3 Security
  • SDIO 2.0 and SPI host interface options
  • GPIO/UART/I2C/PWM peripheral options
  • 6 mm x 6 mm QFN48 package


Morse Micro’s Wi-Fi HaLow evaluation kits, as well as samples of the MM6108 and MM6104 SoCs and modules, will be available to early access partners and key customers starting late July. For more information about Morse Micro’s Wi-Fi HaLow solutions and to pre-order evaluation kits, visit

Morse Micro will demonstrate its Wi-Fi HaLow technology and evaluation kits at ISC West 2021, July 19-21, 2021. Contact Morse Micro to schedule a meeting at

Wi-Fi 6 is built to address the challenges of today’s connectivity landscape, leveraging new or enhanced versions of technologies like OFDMA and bi-directional MU-MIMO to manage the multi-user, simultaneous usage patterns that define modern Wi-Fi networks. However, peak Wi-Fi 6 performance depends on both expert implementation of these tools and the ability to use them together. Ensuring the right tool is applied to the right requirement and optimizing the combination of capabilities at any given moment has elevated the role of the network scheduler to one of singular importance. Simply stated, performance of the Wi-Fi 6 network scheduler is the best predictor of overall Wi-Fi 6 performance in a modern network.

Recently, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. demonstrated, through technical analysis, the importance of a high-performance network scheduler and published that analysis in a new research-based whitepaper. Our decades-long pedigree, derived from intensive research and development, yields a highly optimized network scheduler delivering significant performance advantages when compared to either legacy single-user scenarios or to competitors’ offerings.

The analyses were developed to measure both throughput and latency, key performance indicators across multiple intense usage network deployments. In one use case, the analysis illustrates the impact of Qualcomm Technologies’ scheduling in delivering airtime fairness (as measured in throughput per device) in a mixed client environment with both Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 devices.

Analysis conducted in Qualcomm Technologies’ labs.

Equal airtime fairness in mixed client environments is a critical factor in delivering a seamless Wi-Fi experience. Qualcomm Technologies set out to determine the impact our high-performance scheduler had on such a scenario. The results show an equal allocation of capacity, providing faster connections across all devices – Wi-Fi 6 and legacy – resulting in a significant performance boost per device. With up to 90 percent higher throughput per device, every user’s connectivity experience improved.

To further illustrate the performance of a Qualcomm Technologies’ scheduler, a second analysis was constructed with two scenarios. In these scenarios, the performance results between an access point based on the Qualcomm Networking Pro Series Wi-Fi 6 platform and a competitor’s Wi-Fi 6 access point were compared. These scenarios ran latency-sensitive real-time traffic, side by side, with heavy uplink traffic across the same network.

Analysis conducted in Qualcomm Technologies’ labs.

These analyses highlight implementation superiority. They also demonstrate the significant role our highly optimized scheduler plays in the real-time balancing between OFDMA use for the benefit of multiple users with relatively small payloads or MU-MIMO for multiple users with large payloads without having to sacrifice on either throughput (with an increase of up to 75 percent where throughput is the KPI) or latency (with an overall decrease of up to 69 percent in use cases where latency is the KPI).

Overall, these analyses clearly illustrate that the full performance benefits of Wi-Fi 6 are only achieved through high-performance network scheduling. Qualcomm Technologies’ highly differentiated high-performance Wi-Fi 6 network scheduler is offered across our networking product portfolios, supporting our customers to deliver leading-edge connectivity in the home, school, public, and enterprise environments. From video conferencing and gaming to voice and beyond, unlocking the full benefits Wi-Fi 6 is transforming industries and empowering new and improved experiences for users.

HSINCHU, Taiwan, 2021 – Edgecore Networks, a leading provider of traditional and open network solutions for enterprises, data centers, and telecommunication service providers, is pleased to announce the launch of a series of open Wi-Fi access points preinstalled with the Telecom Infra Project (TIP) OpenWiFi image. Edgecore’s TIP OpenWiFi-ready access points offer users an open platform that works straight out of the box and which is also highly customizable. Edgecore cooperates with other members in the TIP OpenWiFi ecosystem to accelerate the pace of innovation in the Wi-Fi market by creating cost-effective disaggregated open source solutions aimed at improving global connectivity.

Edgecore Networks joined TIP’s Wi-Fi Project Group in 2019 and has contributed technology and experience in hardware and software disaggregation. Edgecore is proud to launch a range of open Wi-Fi access points preinstalled with TIP’s OpenWiFi image to further support the ecosystem, including two Wi-Fi 6 indoor access points, EAP101 and EAP102, three Wi-Fi 5 Wave 2 indoor access points, ECW5211-L, ECW5410-L, and SS-W2-AC2600, and one Wi-Fi 5 Wave 2 outdoor access point with optional cellular backhaul, OAP100. From SMB to MDUs to larger venues, Edgecore TIP OpenWiFi-ready access points can adapt to various usage and requirements. The all-in-one package allows users to save on time without the hassle of having to go through initial setup. If required, Edgecore products provide endless possibilities on its open platform for clients to expand accordingly. Furthermore, each access point has received multiple international certifications including FCC and CE, allowing each product to successfully enter local markets across numerous countries and regions.

Tengtai Hsu, Vice President of Edgecore Networks said, “As an active contributing member of TIP, Edgecore is excited about the positive collaboration that is being established among the members of the OpenWiFi ecosystem, which allows each member to excel in their area of expertise. Further, Edgecore highly prioritizes executing a roadmap that provides more high quality TIP OpenWiFi-ready products for adoption by the ecosystem. Edgecore is eager to utilize the synergy within the OpenWiFi ecosystem to develop, build, test, and deploy open, disaggregated, and standards-based solutions that deliver the high-quality connectivity that the world needs.”

“As a longtime TIP participant and supporter of disaggregation, Edgecore Networks is an active member in multiple project groups across TIP. We are excited to have Edgecore expand its support of TIP and its initiatives to include the OpenWiFi initiative,” said David Hutton, Chief Engineer, TIP.

Edgecore open Wi-Fi access points with TIP’s OpenWiFi image preinstalled are now available for order.

About Edgecore Networks
Edgecore Networks Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Accton Technology Corporation, the leading networking ODM. Edgecore Networks delivers wired and wireless networking products and solutions through channel partners and system integrators worldwide for data center, service provider, enterprise, and SMB customers. Edgecore Networks is the leader in open networking, providing a full line of open 1G-400G Ethernet OCP Accepted™ switches, core routers, cell site gateways, virtual PON OLTs, optical packet transponders, and Wi-Fi access points that offer choice of commercial and open source NOS and SDN software.
For more information, visit or contact [email protected].

– Former Liberty Global executive to oversee global go-to-market strategy  

ISTANBUL – July 8, 2021 – Airties, the most widely deployed supplier of managed Wi-Fi solutions to service providers globally, today announced that it has appointed Nicolas Fortineau as Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.

“We are very proud to have Nicolas Fortineau join our senior leadership team,” said Philippe Alcaras, CEO of Airties. “Our mission is to empower service providers to deliver the best managed Wi-Fi experience for their customers, and Nicolas’ unique expertise will help us further deliver on that commitment. He brings a global operator’s perspective, extensive knowledge on the evolution of the connected home, and the ability to articulate a customer-centric vision. We look forward to what he will bring to our team, customers, and partners.”

“Connectivity is an essential part of daily life, and I am excited to join a company that is so relentlessly dedicated to helping operators improve the way people connect, work, play, and learn,” said Nicolas Fortineau, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Airties. “We are living through a profound transformation of users’ connectivity behaviours. It offers broadband operators a unique opportunity to satisfy those with a best-in-class user experience fuelled by innovation. Airties has always been recognized as the gold standard for operators seeking the best possible connectivity experience, and I am excited about playing my part to help continue and enhance that legacy of success and innovation.”

Mr. Fortineau will oversee Airties’ global marketing efforts including product marketing vision and go-to-market strategy. Prior to joining Airties, he spent more than a decade at Liberty Global, most recently serving as Product Director of Connectivity Platforms, where he oversaw their product development efforts for in-home connectivity across seven countries for both residential and SoHo customers. In this role, he led development efforts across networks, CPE, cloud services and data insights – leveraging the best of technology such as Wi-Fi, 5G, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence to help improve the lives of consumers. Mr. Fortineau previously served as head of product development for Liberty Global’s Wi-Fi product portfolio and ran operations throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Africa during his career. He will report to Philippe Alcaras.

Airties’ technologies have been deployed by dozens of leading service providers across 4 different continents, and Airties Cloud actively manages more than 25 million homes. Airties was named the 2020 “Best Home Wi-Fi Solution” as part of the prestigious Broadband World Forum Awards. More information about Airties can be found at:

About Airties

Airties is the most widely deployed provider of managed Wi-Fi solutions to operators around the globe. Airties Smart Wi-Fi portfolio includes Airties Edge, smart Wi-Fi software for gateways; Airties Cloud, a cloud-based management platform and its companion app, Airties Vision; and Wi-Fi mesh extenders. Operators turn to Airties for the design, implementation, and ongoing optimization of their customers’ broadband experience. Some of Airties’ customers include Altice USA, AT&T, Singtel, Sky, Telia, Telstra, Vodafone, and many others. More information is available at

The increased usage of smartphones, tablets, and IoT devices around the world is creating a growing demand for more reliable network coverage and higher and faster data transmission. Cellular networks such as 4G LTE use frequencies between 600MHz to 700MGz and 2.5GHz to 3.7GHz bands, allowing for waves to travel further and cover more area, but at the cost of lower speeds. As technological innovation persists, data consumption is only going to increase, and we need a way to make data transmission faster and more efficient. A promising technology that can be used for this purpose is millimetre wave, also referred to as mmWave.

Millimetre wave is the band of spectrum with frequencies between 30GHz to 300GHz. Compared to the frequencies used for cellular networks and Wi-Fi today, mmWave has significantly higher frequencies, which allows for higher data transfer speeds.

How does mmWave’s higher frequencies increase data transmission speeds?

Well, higher frequency transmissions have greater bandwidth, which measures the data transfer capacity of a network in bits per second. This means that with mmWave technology, a greater amount of data can be transferred per second, resulting in much higher network speeds.

Millimetre Wave technology gets its name from the fact that the wavelengths of the 30GHz to 300GHz frequencies span a distance of 1 – 10 millimetres. This wavelength is significantly shorter than the radio waves currently used by smartphones, whose wavelengths are around several dozen millimetres. Currently, the mmWave technology is primarily used by radar systems and satellites, with its reach rapidly expanding to 5G cellular networks and remote sensing. Before we discuss the uses of mmWave technology and how it’s affecting the transmission of data, let us consider some of the advantages and disadvantages of using mmWave technology.

Advantages of mmWave Technology

Millimetre wave technology has various applications, spanning industries like radio astronomy, remote sensing, satellites, military weaponry, security screening and telecommunications. Further advancements in mmWave open up the possibilities of creating many unique technologies more effective and efficient.

From a wireless communications’ standpoint, mmWave does support faster transmission. However, due to its shorter wavelength, its signal propagation of mmWave is relatively short, meaning it can travel less distance when compared to more lengthy radio waves. These characteristics of mmWave prove to be beneficial. Shorter transmission paths limit interference from neighbouring mmWaves that might overlap, which helps maintain high data transmission speeds. The short propagation distances can also increase the number of required access points in a given area, reducing the number of devices sharing bandwidth. Shorter wavelengths allow access point antennas to be smaller in size than other frequencies, making them useful for smaller data-transmitting devices.

Disadvantages of mmWave Technology

The main disadvantage of mmWave technology is that they are strongly affected by gases and moisture in the air, negatively affecting their range and strength. Rain and humidity reduce the waves’ signal strength and propagation distance. The propagation distance of mmWaves is already not as high as other frequencies, so all these obstacles prove to be quite damaging. Moreover, physical objects such as trees, walls, buildings, and people can weaken wave strength and reduce propagation. This disposition to signal loss is why mmWave technology is currently mostly used by devices that need to transfer data over shorter distances or devices that are located in obstacle-free areas.

Promising Uses of mmWave Technology 

Let’s further look into some of the more specific uses of mmWave technology in terms of 5G cellular network and remote sensing:

5G Cellular Network

There are two types of 5G networks. The first one being mmWave, which is the type of 5G that is talked about in reference to high and improving network speeds. The second type is sub-6Hz, which is the 5G that most people worldwide are connected to today.

As discussed previously, mmWave refers to higher frequency bands in the 30GHz to 300GHz (although for 5G, mmWave will refer to frequency bands between 30GHz to 40GHz). Comparatively, sub-6Hz refers to lower frequencies under 6Hz. mmWave bands can transmit data faster, which is why they can support breakneck network speeds. Even though mmWave 5G networks are fast, the shorter wave propagation prevents them from being used in suburban and rural areas. People, walls, trees, and other obstructions in these areas make this issue worse. To use mmWave 5G, you must be within a block of a 5G tower, which isn’t a feasible thing for most communities. For the mmWave 5G network to be available for people in suburban and rural areas, there would need to be many more 5G towers installed, which is a considerable cost most carriers are unwilling to take on.

Because of mmWave’s limited range, it has been challenging to implement mmWave 5G in most areas around the world. Nonetheless, the technological advancements related to data transmission devices and antennas have allowed for mmWave to show lots of potential for 5G users in the future. Theoretically, mmWave 5G can deliver speeds up to 5Gb/s, compared to the current average of 40mb/s.

Remote Sensing: 

mmWave remote sensing incorporates the usage of mmWave radars, which are a type of sensing technology used to detect the movement and position of objects, and determine the velocity and angle of those objects. There are many different uses of remote sensing using mmWave radars. For example, mmWave radars are used by many automotive companies for traffic control. Moreover, mmWave radars can determine the distance between adjacent vehicles, which can help prevent collisions. The rate at which the mmWaves are reflected off a neighbouring vehicle could help determine the distance to the next vehicle.

Another use of mmWave’s remote sensing capabilities is health monitoring and human motion detection. mmWave signals are so sensitive that they can detect subtle changes in an environment, including some of the biological functions of the human body. For example, you could use a device that uses mmWave technology to monitor a user’s heartbeat and breathing without the use of sensors, wearables or implants. This is a unique technology in which the user would not have use any wearables to gather data.

Let’s also consider respiration rate monitoring. A signal is sent from the mmWave device out into the environment. When you inhale, your chest inflates, making the distance from the signal’s origin to its destination a tiny bit shorter. When you exhale, the signal needs to travel a little further. By monitoring these variances in the signal, your system could deduce and monitor your respiration rate. Over time, the algorithms in the system will learn what is normal for you and take motion into account (e.g. during exercise). So, for instance, if you have an allergic reaction and your respiration rate suddenly changes drastically, your system could be programmed to respond by dialing the emergency services.

For more information on Mercku’s remote sensing, check out our upcoming product: Mercku Wireless Intelligence Sensing (WISe)

Want to learn more about wireless sensing? Read more about our latest partnership with Aerial to provide best-in-class WiFi Sensing Services!

For more information about Mercku’s Connectivity Suite, our hardware and how you can partner with Mercku, please reach out to the team at [email protected]

Thank you for reading our blog! Mercku Blogs covers the latest in wireless technology – subscribe to our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss our newest releases!

Austin, Texas and Washington, D.C. – June 30, 2021 – Wi-Fi Alliance® continues to advance development of the Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) system that maximizes spectrum access in the 6 GHz frequency band. Wi-Fi Alliance is proud to announce the release of two additional elements necessary for AFC system implementation: the AFC System Reference Model and AFC Device Compliance Test Plan. This accomplishment follows the publication of the AFC System to AFC Device Interface Specification earlier this year. By bringing together technical experts from a broad section of the industry, Wi-Fi Alliance is rapidly enabling Wi-Fi 6E deployment worldwide.

Wi-Fi Alliance continues to advocate for countries to make the 6 GHz band available to Wi-Fi®, unleashing the capacity, speed, and reduced latency benefits of Wi-Fi 6E. The AFC system, already adopted into 6 GHz regulatory framework in Canada and U.S., is also being considered by regulators in other countries. Development of this AFC system framework demonstrates the commitment by Wi-Fi Alliance to maximizing 6 GHz spectrum opportunity and accelerating delivery of Wi-Fi 6E benefits.

Wi-Fi Alliance development efforts on this innovative AFC system are ongoing, with the aim of ensuring worldwide adoption, interoperability, security, and reliability expected of Wi-Fi. Available AFC documents now include:

For more information, please visit:


About Wi-Fi Alliance®  |
Wi-Fi Alliance® is the worldwide network of companies that brings you Wi-Fi®. Members of our collaboration forum come together from across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision to connect everyone and everything, everywhere, while providing the best possible user experience. Since 2000, Wi-Fi Alliance has completed more than 65,000 Wi-Fi certifications. The Wi-Fi CERTIFIED™ seal of approval designates products with proven interoperability, backward compatibility, and the highest industry-standard security protections in place. Today, Wi-Fi carries more than half of the internet’s traffic in an ever-expanding variety of applications. Wi-Fi Alliance continues to drive the adoption and evolution of Wi-Fi, which billions of people rely on every day.

The XR Series offers reliable high performance and secure vehicle area networks designed for mobile mission critical applications

PHOENIX, Ariz.– June 30, 2021 – ON Semiconductor (Nasdaq: ON), driving energy-efficient innovations, today announced that Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR) (TSX: SW), a world-leading IoT solutions provider, has selected QCS-AX Wi-Fi 6 chipsets to power the Wi-Fi functionality of its market-leading XR Series of multi-network 5G routers. The supercharged X90 and XR80 routers are designed to deliver high performance and seamless connectivity across 5G cellular, Wi-Fi and Ethernet networks for mission and business-critical applications.

Embedded with the QCS-AX Wi-Fi 6 chipsets from ON Semiconductor, the XR Series delivers best-in-class flexibility and reliability among 5G and Wi-Fi radios while intelligently connecting to the best-performing network at the right time. With up to 2.4Gbps speed in a single band, the QCS-AX can be configured for dual band concurrent operation to provide optimized performance along with simultaneous access point and station capability.

The public safety, transit and utility applications rely on real-time communications, including video streaming, video offload and other data-intensive use cases, to ensure safety and responsiveness. Having uninterrupted and reliable connection is crucial as users in the field and at the station must make timely decisions based on the information received in critical situations. The mobile router can be used for mobility applications or primary, temporary, or backup fixed wireless connectivity, from connecting medical devices in emergency vehicles, to providing continuous and scheduled telematic backup or business-critical connectivity.

Security is a serious concern for all data transmission. With a hardware-accelerated VPN for secure transport, secure boot, unique cryptographic keys, and use of the WPA3™ (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3) protocol, the XR series employs multi-layered end-to-end security to protect data from device to the cloud, enabling customers to reduce security risks in their deployment.

“Leveraging the Wi-Fi expertise from ON Semiconductor, we are proud to introduce this new generation of 5G routers,” said Tom Mueller, vice president of Product Enterprise Networking, Sierra Wireless. “The XR Series offers secure connectivity that enables customers to maximize 5G performance across any network, even in the most challenging environments.”

“The XR Series is a great example of how 5G and Wi-Fi 6 converge to provide high performance and reliable connectivity for mobile enterprise applications,” said Irvind Ghai, vice president of Marketing, Wireless Connectivity and Signal Processing Division at ON Semiconductor. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Sierra Wireless, a pioneer in the use of 5G cellular technologies, and be part of this transformative connectivity adoption to help improve real-time communications for mission and business-critical applications.”

Additional resources & documents:


About Sierra Wireless

Sierra Wireless (NASDAQ: SWIR) (TSX: SW) is a leading IoT solutions provider that combines devices, network services and software to unlock value in the connected economy. Companies globally are adopting 4G, 5G and LPWA solutions to improve operational efficiency, create better customer experiences, improve their business models, and create new revenue streams. Sierra Wireless will work with you to develop the right industry-specific solution for your next IoT deployment whether it is an integrated solution to help connect edge devices to the cloud, a software/API service to manage processes with billions of connected assets, or a platform to extract real-time data to improve business decisions. With more than 25 years of cellular IoT experience, Sierra Wireless is the trusted partner globally to deliver your next IoT solution. For more information, visit

Connect with Sierra Wireless on the IoT Blog at, on Twitter at @SierraWireless, on LinkedIn at and on YouTube at

“Sierra Wireless” is a registered trademark of Sierra Wireless, Inc. “AirLink” is a registered trademark of Sierra Wireless America, Inc. Other product or service names mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

LitePoint’s Eve Danel is the author of this two-part blog series. Throughout these posts, you’ll learn about the key RF-PHY changes made in Wi-Fi 6/802.11ax compared to Wi-Fi 5 and older generations: the addition of a new frequency band, higher modulation rates, smaller subcarrier spacing, longer guard intervals and the introduction of the OFDMA modulation technique providing capacity improvements and latency reduction.

In my previous blog post, I explored some of the key RF-PHY changes in Wi-Fi 6, including a fundamental change to the way that Wi-Fi 6 operates, which is using orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA). Let’s take a closer look at Wi-Fi 6 OFDMA.

Resource Units (RUs)

With OFDMA, the channel bandwidth is divided into resource units (RUs) of various sizes. The size of an RU can vary from the smallest 26 subcarriers (or 2 MHz) up to 996 tones (or 77.8 MHz). The size and the location of the RUs is defined for 20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz channels, and 80+80 or 160 MHz channels.

Figure 1: RU location in 80 MHz channel

RUs are comprised of:

  • Data subcarriers used to carry data information and form the majority of the subcarrier’s assignment
  • Pilot subcarriers used for phase tracking for channel estimation
  • DC subcarriers at the center frequency of the channel
  • Guard band/Null subcarriers used at the band edges to protect from interference from neighboring RUs

Different numbers and sizes of RUs can be allocated for transmissions to different users, based on how much data each station needs. The access point (AP) is responsible for RU assignment and coordination. For example, applications that require a lot of data, like streaming video, can be assigned a large RU, while applications that require very little data can be assigned a small RU. Each RU can use a different modulation scheme, coding rate and level, and RU assignments can vary on a frame by frame basis.

Figure 2: OFDMA transmission showing 80 MHz channel divided into 8 RUs

For a downlink transmission, an HE MU PPDU carrying a mixture of 26-, 52-, 106-, 242-, 484-, and 996-tone RUs is transmitted from the AP to the stations. The HE MU PPDU preamble is transmitted over the whole channel and contains a new field called the SIG-B that provides information to the stations about their RU size and frequency allocation, the modulation MCS and the number of spatial streams allocated by the AP.

Figure 3: HE MU PPDU

The HE-SIG-B field is only included in HE MU PPDU (downlink) and it includes the information for OFDMA and MU-MIMO resource allocation. The HE-SIG-B field includes a common field followed by user specific fields.

The common field of an HE-SIG-B content channel contains information regarding the RU assignment, the RUs allocated for MU-MIMO and the number of users in MU-MIMO allocations. The SIG-B user specific fields contain information for all users in the PPDU on how to decode their payload.

Wi-Fi 6 OFDMA creates a large number of permutations of possible RU sizes, frequency allocations and power levels that need to be validated to ensure the transmitter and receiver performance meets the standard criteria. All of these permutations can have different error vector magnitude (EVM) and spectral performance.

Wi-Fi 6 OFDMA uplink transmissions are even more complex than downlink operation, because in the uplink, the traffic must be transmitted simultaneously from multiple stations to the AP. In the uplink transmission, the AP acts as an operations and transmission coordinator.

First, the AP sends a trigger frame to all the stations that will be involved in the upcoming transmission, and then these stations transmit simultaneously on their respective RUs in response to the trigger frames. Based on the trigger frame, the client station will need to tune its timing, frequency and power levels to participate in this transmission.

Timing synchronization

Client stations participating in an OFDMA transmission must transmit within 400 ns of each other. In order to synchronize the clients, the AP transmits a trigger frame. This frame contains information about the OFDMA sub-carrier’s RU assigned to each station. In response, the participating clients need to start transmission of the uplink signal after a specified time interval short inter-frame space (SIFS) of 16 µs +/- 400 ns after the end of the trigger frame as mandated by the 802.11ax standard.

Figure 4: Timing synchronization of uplink OFDMA

Frequency synchronization

To prevent inter-carrier interference (ICI) between the clients transmitting simultaneously, all stations participating in the transmission need to pre-compensate for carrier frequency offset (CFO). The client stations adjust their carrier frequency based on the trigger frame received from the AP. The 802.11ax standard requires the residual CFO error after compensation to be less than 350 Hz.

Figure 5: Wi-Fi OFDMA frequency synchronization

Power control

When traffic is transmitted between the AP and client stations that are located at various distances, power control is needed to ensure that stations closer to the AP do not drown out users farther from the AP that are transmitting simultaneously.  The 802.11ax standard requires the stations to adjust their power based on the estimated path loss to the AP. Devices closer to the AP transmit less power while devices farther away transmit more power to achieve the same received power at AP receiver considering the path loss. There are two classes of devices defined in the standard based on how accurately they can control their power. Class A devices control their transmit power within ±3 dB and class B devices control their power within ±9 dB.

Figure 6: Wi-Fi OFDMA power control

The accuracy of the synchronization between the AP and the client is critical because a single bad actor (station) that doesn’t perform as expected will degrade performance for all other users that are sharing the same transmission.

Unused Tone EVM

Another concept introduced in Wi-Fi 6 OFDMA is the unused tone EVM metric. As discussed above, when the stations transmit in the uplink direction on their assigned RU, it is important that emissions do not spill over into other RUs, otherwise that will reduce the system capacity for other users.

Figure 7: Unused tone EVM

To evaluate the station’s performance, the 802.11ax standard introduced this new metric, which is a measure of the in-channel emissions generated by the stations. IEEE specifies RU leakage as a staircase mask requirement, which is called unused tone EVM. The unused tone EVM measures the EVM floor of 26 tone RU over the whole channel bandwidth excluding the position(s) for the active RU.

The validation of uplink multi-user transmission in Wi-Fi 6 OFDMA is one of the most challenging areas of 802.11ax testing. For the tester, it requires the involvement of both the signal generation and signal analysis function, which need to be coordinated to run a test sequence to provide nanosecond-level accuracy measurements to ensure the required 400 nanosecond accuracy of the uplink transmission.

Figure 8: Wi-Fi 6 trigger-based testing

When testing an AP design, the tester emulates a station, and it decodes the received trigger frame information in order to generate a trigger-based physical layer protocol data unit (PPDU) with the correct RU allocation. The tester also needs to adjust its power to the AP requirements in real time because it needs to respond to the AP with a nanosecond level of accuracy.

When testing a client station, the tester emulates an AP, generates a trigger frame and will measure the response with the signal analysis function. The tester measures the trigger-based PPDU generated by the station itself. The tester needs to measure the timing, frequency and power accuracy of this transmission from the client to ensure it meets the 802.11ax standard requirements and the RU leakage requirements.


Beyond testing the traditional transmit and receiver metrics that are necessary for any Wi-Fi generation, the chart below shows an overview of the new test areas that are specific to 802.11ax. These test sequences for Wi-Fi 6 OFDMA require a higher level of test complexity compared to previous Wi-Fi generations.

Figure 9: Wi-Fi 6 key test areas

If the number of test cases and complexity of Wi-Fi 6 OFDMA seems overwhelming, I encourage you to explore LitePoint’s IQfact+ automation solution. The software is tailored to control both the tester and the device under test (DUT) and it provides calibration and verification automation. LitePoint already offers IQfact+ packages for Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E chips for AP and client devices.


STACK-MID helps Service Providers test the latest industry standards for home Wi-Fi solutions

Littleton, Massachusetts, June 24, 2021 – octoScope®, a Spirent company and the leader in accurate, repeatable and automated wireless personal testbeds, today announced the release of STACK-MID, a new testbed designed for communications service provider (CSP) to test and optimize home-focused Wi-Fi devices and solutions.

A subset of octoScope’s fully-featured STACK-MAX testbed, STACK-MID supports testing of all features and standards vital to home Wi-Fi devices, including the latest Broadband Forum TR-398 Issue 2 test cases for home router performance.

“Our CSP customers tell us that a significant proportion of service calls from their customers are Wi-Fi related, as home Wi-Fi solutions become ever-more sophisticated,” said Fanny Mlinarsky, founder of octoScope, and Senior Vice President of Wi-Fi Products at Spirent. “CSPs are looking for testing solutions to assess and improve performance of Wi-Fi routers, gateways and networks, especially in the face of new Wi-Fi technologies and network topologies such as mesh being increasingly adopted in the home.”

octoScope’s STACK-MID enables CSPs to test the latest Wi-Fi solutions for the home user, including the most recent technologies such as Wi-Fi 6, Wi-Fi 6E, MU-MIMO and OFDMA. When combined with octoScope’s Tracker field-to-lab replay solution, the testbed can also be used in the optimization of mesh networks, while features such as roaming, access point (AP) steering, band steering, and load balancing are also easy to test and optimize. Realistic deployment scenarios can be recorded in the field and replicated inside the testbed.

“With STACK-MID, service providers can be confident that devices under test will perform as they should when deployed in the field,” said Mlinarsky.

About the octoBox personal wireless testbed

Stackable and configurable octoBox personal testbeds are completely isolated from external interference and can be used at an engineer’s office or lab bench.

Each octoBox testbed is controlled by a dedicated Node.js web server accessible via a browser UI for manual control, or via REST API for test automation. The server provides the time base for the testbed and controls the built-in instruments, DUT configuration, traffic, and test flow. Test results are saved in a MongoDB database, enabling multiple teams to easily collaborate by sharing the test automation scripts and test results.

About octoScope

octoScope is a Spirent Company. It is the market leader in isolated, repeatable and automated wireless personal testbeds. Our patented technology redefines the accuracy, stability, economics and value of over-the-air wireless testing. The octoBox testbed is configurable for automated regression test sequences with a range of airlink conditions and interference scenarios. The octoBox testbeds are scalable to support a single DUT or multi-node mesh systems under test.

The testbeds feature powerful technologies to evaluate the behavior and performance of a broad range of wireless devices and systems. The tested capabilities include protocol monitoring, test traffic generation, motion and multipath emulation, interference generation and device emulation.

Petit Jean Fiber grows its value by building a world-class fiber-to-the-home network that will deliver unrivaled managed Wi-Fi 6 experiences to rural communities and schools with Calix Intelligent Access EDGE and Revenue EDGE

SAN JOSE, CA – June 24, 2021 – Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) today announced that Petit Jean Electric Cooperative (Petit Jean) has selected the complete suite of Calix solutions and cloud-based services to cost-effectively build and deploy a world-class fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network. After securing the third-highest amount of Rural Development Opportunity Fund (RDOF) dollars in Arkansas, Petit Jean will deliver the latest managed Wi-Fi 6 services to underserved members and students across its rural service territory through its newly formed, wholly owned fiber subsidiary, Petit Jean Fiber. As a newcomer to the broadband space, Petit Jean will leverage the Network Innovation Platform (AXOS®) and the Intelligent Access EDGE to build an XGS-PON FTTH network, simplifying operations and enabling the cooperative to turn up symmetrical gigabit broadband services quickly and cost-effectively. As sections of the fiber network are completed, Petit Jean will use the Revenue EDGE to excite students and members alike with best-in-class experiences at superior speeds, with the full support of Calix Services to accelerate deployment and adoption. Petit Jean is growing its value and differentiating itself from established service providers with the goal of bringing accessible, affordable, and reliable high-speed internet to all 14,000 members by 2027.

Last year, with the overwhelming support of more than 90 percent of its members, Petit Jean decided to participate in the RDOF auction to secure funds for its FTTH initiative. The new network and services will bring life-changing connectivity to its communities and open the door to seamless online learning, telemedicine, remote work, and other opportunities. Currently, only 11 percent of Arkansans have access to fiber broadband connectivity, according to BroadbandNow. This disparity is felt keenly within Petit Jean’s rural, nine-county service area which includes Searcy County, whose school districts were severely hampered last year by an internet connectivity gap that worsened the plight of already-struggling students.

“Some of the seniors in our school districts were unable to graduate this year due to the lack of reliable high-speed internet services in their areas,” said Michael Kirkland, general manager of Petit Jean. “When it became clear that RDOF could make this financially feasible for us, we knew we had to jump in with both feet and from the very first meeting, Calix understood exactly what we needed—a future-proof fiber broadband network that was simple and cost-effective to operate, and capable of delivering exciting services at blazing fast speeds to our members. Calix is considered the gold standard in this industry, and we are confident our investment will pay dividends for Petit Jean, helping us grow our value by providing much-needed services to rural Arkansans.”

Once fully deployed, Petit Jean will benefit from:

  • Lowered operating costs. The new, 2,500-mile FTTH buildout will be powered by the Network Innovation Platform (AXOS) to deliver Always On broadband connectivity. The versatility of the platform enables Petit Jean to embrace an everyPON strategy—in this case, GPON, and then ultimately XGS-PON using the E7-2 Intelligent Modular System for easy and efficient scalability. Calix customers have reduced their operating costs by as much as 50 percent as a result of the platform’s modular architecture.
  • Efficient customer support. Petit Jean will tap the subscriber insights of Calix Support Cloud that are seamlessly integrated with its own branded version of the CommandIQ® mobile app, enabling member-led, self-service capabilities, unprecedented in-home network visibility, and operational efficiency. These have resulted in industry-leading benchmarks such as 60 percent truck-roll reductions for other customers.  
  • Elevated member experiences. Petit Jean will build a world-class marketing engine, first by using the data in Calix Marketing Cloud to identify and reach each member with targeted service offerings. Then, the CommandIQ mobile app will give the broadband service provider (BSP) the ability to establish a dedicated communications channel with members, and easily deliver EDGE Suites, which feature the fully managed security and parental control capabilities that delight subscribers, with additional exciting services to come.

Petit Jean will rely on the expertise of Calix Services to help accelerate network and service planning, deployment, and optimization—specifically Professional ServicesPremier Customer Success Services, and Premier Support Services. Field technicians and the customer support team will also undergo training via EDGE Enablement. Collectively, these will help Petit Jean accelerate its ability to simplify its operations, excite members, and grow its value.

“Petit Jean is a shining example of a true greenfield provider that has invested wisely in building the first, and the last, network it will ever need,” said Michael Weening, president and chief operating officer of Calix. “With the Intelligent Access EDGE, Petit Jean can rapidly deploy new services on a network that is always on, with premium managed Wi-Fi 6 experiences delivered via the Revenue EDGE that will excite members. The ease of service provisioning and delivery with our cloud-based offerings will smooth the transition into this new broadband business, helping Petit Jean simplify operations and differentiate itself from the incumbents while growing its value as it writes the next chapter of its impressive 80-year history.”

To learn more, view a replay of our recent webinar, “10G Fiber Networks for the Future: Top Considerations From the Experts.”

About Calix

Calix, Inc. (NYSE: CALX) – Calix cloud and software platforms enable service providers of all types and sizes to innovate and transform. Our customers utilize the real-time data and insights from Calix platforms to simplify their businesses and deliver experiences that excite their subscribers. The resulting growth in subscriber acquisition, loyalty, and revenue creates more value for their businesses and communities. This is the Calix mission; to enable broadband service providers of all sizes to simplify, excite, and grow.

This press release may contain forward-looking statements that are based upon management’s current expectations and are inherently uncertain. Forward-looking statements are based upon information available to us as of the date of this release, and we assume no obligation to revise or update any such forward-looking statement to reflect any event or circumstance after the date of this release, except as required by law. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from current expectations based on risks and uncertainties affecting Calix’s business. The reader is cautioned not to rely on the forward-looking statements contained in this press release. Additional information on potential factors that could affect Calix’s results and other risks and uncertainties are detailed in its quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC and available at