OFDMA – brief definition
OFDMA offers a significant increase in performance when the Wi-Fi network is used in parallel by many end devices. By dividing the existing data channels into small units, OFDMA enables highly effective transport of data packets.
WLAN channels are a scarce commodity in the home network and very sought after. PCs, laptops, smartphones, tablets and smart TVs are among the most eager data consumers, while household appliances and small devices with smart functions are transmitting data as well. Traffic jams on the data highway are therefore inevitable – of not for OFDMA.
What is OFDMA?
OFDMA enables Wi-Fi access points to serve multiple clients in parallel. For this purpose, the Wi-Fi channel is flexibly divided into smaller resource units, which the access point can then allocate dynamically across many devices. This makes better use of the available bandwidth and dramatically increases capacity.
While MU-MIMO adds further „lanes“ to the wireless data highway and thus enables simultaneous coverage of multiple end devices, OFDMA offers the most effective transport of data packets through flexible use of these lanes – for even more end devices. When the Wi-Fi network is used in parallel by many end devices, this leads to optimised data throughput without noticeable latencies.
What is OFDMA capable of?
- Increased efficiency through “car-pooling”
- The available channels are flexibly divided into smaller units, resource units, which the access points then dynamically assign to the devices.
- This multitasking increases efficiency exponentially and reduces network overhead. It also makes better use of available bandwidth, significantly increasing capacity.
- If narrowband interference occurs in the OFDM signal spectrum, the carrier affected by the interference can be excluded from data transmission. The overall data transfer rate is reduced only marginally.
- OFDMA is particularly relevant for networks with many small transmission packets, for example when using IoT devices.