Overloaded spectrum is believed to be the solution to our current Wi-Fi problems. You probably have observed whether back at home, in the office or at that coffee shop that the Wi-Fi is now slower. The reason behind this slow performance is as a result of the increasing number of devices connecting to the Wi-Fi. The increase in connecting devices does not correspond to the capacity of the Access Point (AP)/base station, or cell edge. As such, Overloaded spectrum seeks to address this problem.
Wi-Fi solutions before emergence of Overloaded spectrum
Wi-Fi solutions that have been in use (and most probably what you are still using) provides local area network on two frequency bands, that is, 5GHz and 2.4GHz. These two frequency bands differ on two main fronts, the 2.4GHz frequency travels a relatively short distance but maintains its connectivity power. This frequency also can be used by virtually all devices that can connect to the internet including those mobile devices released at the beginning of the millennium. The 5GHz frequency, on the other hand, travels faster but its connectivity power decreases as the distance increases. This frequency also can be used by newer forms of mobile devices largely smartphones.
Wi-Fi solutions after emergence of Overloaded spectrum
Overloaded spectrum is designed to ensure that there is longer battery life for Wi-Fi devices, improve coverage and deliver up to four times greater capacity, this will guarantee that Wi-Fi traffic is much more efficient. In order to achieve this, Overloaded spectrum merges 12 streams (frequencies) including 2.4GHz, 5GHz and others which include 802.11ax 80MHz, 8×8 Mu-MIMO and advanced 8×8. Overloaded spectrum also ensures that Wi-Fi supports for the very first time Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiple Access (OFDMA). OFDMA allows the network to be ‘broken’ into several bits thus users can experience the same connectivity.