Here we can see, “Wi-Fi 6E”
Wifi 6 hardware is finally on the market, and more and more of it will be launched throughout 2020. However, there is already talk of something new: wifi 6E, which promises to cut wifi congestion even further.
This article was originally published in January 2020. The Federal Communications Commission voted on April 23, 2020, to open up the 6 GHz spectrum for unlicensed usage later this year, paving the path for wifi 6E in the United States. Because other nations have not yet taken the same decision, wifi 6E is still subject to regulatory restrictions throughout much of the world.
What is Wi-Fi 6E?
Wifi 6E, announced by the wifi Alliance, is a forthcoming standard for expanding wifi 6 (also known as 802.11ax), allowing the operation of features in the unlicensed 6 GHz band to the existing supported 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
Wifi 6E devices will operate in 14 additional 80 MHz channels and 7 more 160 MHz channels, thanks to an additional 1200 MHz of spectrum available in the 6 GHz band for wifi applications. This expanded spectrum simplifies network architecture and delivers optimum wifi performance with higher throughput and wider channels, all while removing the need to support legacy devices, resulting in less network congestion.
Using this additional spectrum capacity in 6 GHz opens up the possibility of further innovation in wifi user experience and linked devices. The wifi 6E standard enhances the 802.11ax network user experience by providing faster and more reliable wifi networks built for high-bandwidth applications such as video streaming, videoconferencing, and voice conversations.
Improving User Experience with Wi-Fi 6E
With the increased desire to connect more devices to the network, wifi 6E will help organizations and service providers to support new and developing applications while also ensuring that each connected device performs optimally.
Wifi 6E tackles wifi spectrum shortage issues by offering more contiguous channel bandwidth, allowing an ever-increasing number of devices to operate at unprecedented rates. The additional 1200 MHz in the 6 GHz spectrum will allow businesses to provide quicker, more dependable enterprise wifi networks. These networks will be extremely scalable and resilient, with simplified architectures, allowing them to handle more users at multigigabit speeds—even in highly congested areas with a high density of mobile and IoT devices.
Wifi 6E boosts network capacity and efficiency for demanding and mission-critical applications requiring increased throughput, such as enterprise video streaming and conferencing. The first generation of wifi 6E chipsets is now available for vendors to develop access points and mobile devices. Wifi 6E products are expected to be released within the next two years. As client devices (which frequently lag behind chipset development) become more widely available, enterprises whose needs exceed the capabilities of 802.11ax are likely to undertake migration programs.
How Does Wi-Fi 6E Work?
Wifi 6E has all of the features and capabilities of 802.11ax, except it operates in the 6 GHz range. 802.11ax goes beyond simply increasing network speed, combining revolutionary technologies to increase overall network performance while connecting a large number of devices running high-bandwidth, low-latency applications.
Wifi 6E networks will boost capacity by operating on the 6 GHz band with 14 additional 80 MHz channels and 7 additional 160 MHz channels while leveraging the following existing 802.11ax features:
- 8×8 MU-MIMO uplink/downlink, OFDMA, and BSS Color enable up to four times to handle more devices.
- To increase network efficiency and device battery life, including IoT devices, set a target waking time (TWT).
- The 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation method (1024-QAM) increases throughput for new, bandwidth-intensive purposes by sending more data in the same amount of spectrum.
Wi-Fi 6E Is Waiting on Regulatory Agencies Outside the USA
- If 6 GHz is so beneficial, why aren’t existing wifi standards using it? They couldn’t, of course. Regulatory agencies prohibited wifi from using the 6 GHz spectrum instead of conserving it for other uses.
- The US Federal Communications Commission suggested providing the 6 GHz spectrum for wifi and other “unlicensed” usage in October 2018. That didn’t happen overnight, and wifi 6E began to take shape before regulatory approval. The FCC agreed on April 23, 2020, to open the 6 GHz spectrum to wifi 6E and other purposes later this year, allowing wifi 6E devices to launch in the United States.
- The Wifi Alliance’s pre-CES 2020 introduction of wifi 6E admits this, referring to 6 GHz as “an important chunk of unlicensed spectrum that governments throughout the world may soon make available.” It’s worth noting that the word “may” rather than “will” is used—up it’s to government authorities, not the industry.
When Will Wi-Fi 6E Hardware Be Available?
- According to the wifi Alliance, “Wifi 6E devices are expected to become accessible rapidly following 6 GHz regulatory approvals.” With the FCC’s approval, more items will be revealed and scheduled for distribution.
- The industry appeared to be eager for authorities to approve wifi 6. Broadcom revealed three system-on-a-chip devices at CES 2020 that router manufacturers may use to create wifi 6E-enabled access points.
- Intel indicated that WI-Fi 6E chips would be available in January 2021. Therefore it appears likely that wifi 6E will begin to appear in 2021 and become more ubiquitous by 2022—at least in the United States.
- Despite the enthusiasm and demand, no clear schedule for when regulators worldwide will make the spectrum accessible for unlicensed usage has been established. In most regions, there is no set release date for wifi 6E.
Wi-Fi Over 6 GHz Requires New Devices
Wifi 6E devices will be backward compatible with previous wifi standards as well as wifi 6. However, to take advantage of the new 6 GHz channels in wifi 6E, you must be utilizing devices that support it. In other words, you’ll only be able to use wifi 6E if you couple a wifi 6E-enabled client device (such as a laptop or smartphone) with wifi 6E-enabled access point.
For example, even if you have a slew of wifi 6 devices and a wifi 6E-capable router, none of them will communicate over wifi 6E. They will all use wifi 6 on the standard 5 GHz or 2.4 GHz channels.
Difference between WiFi 6E and WiFi 6
|Features||WiFi 6||WiFi 6E|
|• Frequency spectrum (GHz)||2.4 GHz, 5 GHz||2.4 GHz, 5GHz and 6 GHz (7 numbers of 160 MHz channels, no DFS)|
|• Availability||It is available now.||It will be available in 2020/2021.|
|• Channel bandwidth||20, 40, 80, 80+80, 160 MHz||20, 40, 80, 80+80, 160 MHz|
|• MU-MIMO||Downlink and Uplink (8×8 DL and UL)||Downlink and Uplink (8×8 DL and UL)|
|• Modulation||16/64/256/1024 QAM||16/64/256/1024 QAM|
|• Clients per channel||OFDMA – up to 74 clients (160 MHz channel)||OFDMA – up to 74 clients (160 MHz channel)|
|• Max. Data Rate||~ 1.5 Gbps per device)||Higher than wifi6 and other traditional wifi devices, 2.3 Gbps per device|
|• Capacity (Number of channels)||Lower||Higher|
|• Latency||Higher||Extremely lower|
|• Network performance||Good||Better (In dense congested environments)|
|• Coverage range||More (in 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands)||Less ( in 6 GHz band)|
Advantages of WiFi 6E
- It has speeds in the gigabit range. It allows for up to 1.2 GHz extra wifi spectrum in the 6 GHz range. Mobile phones can achieve rates of up to 2 Gbps.
- It has very low latency (one millisecond).
- It has a larger capacity. As a result, wifi 6E supports a greater number of users than standard wifi.
- Because any wireless household devices do not share this frequency band, it provides less interference.
- It supports channels with higher bandwidths of 80 MHz and 160 MHz BW (Bandwidth).
- It broadens the use of regular wifi in the 6 GHz frequency spectrum. As a result, there is a more contiguous spectrum available for usage.
Disadvantages of WiFi 6E
- It does not support the functioning of any legacy device at 6 GHz. These outdated devices, however, are supported in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.
- In comparison to the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, the 6 GHz frequency has the shortest range.
I hope you find this advice to be helpful. Please use the form below if you have any queries or comments.
- Should I wait for wifi 6E?
Many more will be released throughout the year 2020. Wifi 6 isn’t a huge speed boost, but it will result in speedier wifi, less wireless congestion, and possibly even longer battery life for your devices.
- What does wifi 6E mean?
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) overwhelmingly approved in April 2020 to open up a new, unlicensed spectrum band for wireless devices in the 6 GHz band. The 6 GHz standard will be known as “Wifi 6E” (the “E” stands for “extended”).
- Will 2.4 GHz wifi be phased out?
2.4 GHz isn’t going away, but it wasn’t designed to accommodate the amount of today’s ubiquitous wifi access. IT administrators must consider if the network’s changing demands justify allocating 50% of access point radios to the 2.4-GHz band.
- wifi 101: Progress and Reality of wifi 6E
- Is wifi 6E worth the price of admission?