Cisco and Apple team up to boost Wi-Fi 6 performance during video calls

Cisco and Apple are teaming up to deliver better uplink Wi-Fi 6 performance. They launch the “Fastlane +” feature which changes Wi-Fi protocols when iOS 14 devices are connected to Cisco Catalyst access points.

Fastlane + would make it possible to exceed the limits ofOFDMA, an essential brick of Wi-Fi 6 which consists in dividing each frequency channel into several sub-channels and in allocating these resources dynamically to users according to their requests. OFDMA should regularly collect Buffer Status Reports (BSRs), buffer status reports, to then understand what clients are going to request.

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More throughput, less latency for video applications

The Fastlane + approach is different. It communicates the Apple operating system with the Cisco access point using an ASR (Advanced Scheduling Request) session.
This makes it possible to more precisely, quickly and specifically estimate the uplink needs of each customer by intelligently anticipating the predictable behavior of voice and video traffic. With the effect of boosting uploading but also reducing network latency, even in the most saturated environments.

This innovation should benefit the video and voice applications of both partners, such as FaceTime or the Webex video conferencing service. Fastlane + would increase the MOS (Mean Opinion Score), that is to say the quality of transmission, up to 46% on this type of use, says Cisco. Testing was performed using 80 MHz Wi-Fi channels and 75% channel usage.

Fastlane + is automatically enabled for latency sensitive voice and video applications when channel usage is above 60%. The Fastlane + functionality is available on any Wi-Fi 6 compatible iPhone or iPad running iOS 14 or later versions of the operating system with a Cisco Catalyst 9130 access point. This partnership is particularly attractive for users who travel regularly, whether in convention centers or airports. Cisco is indeed very present in the market for public Wi-Fi access points.

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Source: Wi-Fi Now

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