Another new WiFi standard?

The developments around Wi-Fi go on and on. Have we just recovered from the Wi-Fi 6 revolution, another Wi-Fi 6E standard has been devised. The latest innovation is the addition of the 6 GHz band to the Wi-Fi standard. This extension is better known as Wi-Fi 6E. The new standard was announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance in early 2022. The FCC has released a large spectrum of the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use. In this article, we take a closer look at what this will mean for the future of Wi-Fi;

Large frequency spectrum released on the 6GHz band
As most are aware, Wi-Fi networks currently operate on two bands: the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. In total, approximately 400MHz of spectrum is available on these two frequency bands. Due to the expansion to the 6GHz frequency band, not only is a new frequency band added, but more spectrum is also available. The FCC has released 1,200MHz of spectrum on the 6GHz band. It is expected that the channels on the 6GHz band will be 160MHz wide. With the currently available frequency spectrum, only two channels of that width can be offered.

The increase in spectrum solves a major problem of today's Wi-Fi networks: spectrum congestion. If too many devices try to connect to the same frequency bands, some devices will lose the connection. In a location where many Wi-Fi networks are relatively close together, the connection becomes slower and more unreliable or even impossible. The increase in spectrum creates more free space to send data. This reduces the mutual disturbances and makes this problem a thing of the past.

Does Wi-Fi 6E also provide faster internet?
Unfortunately not. The extension of the Wi-Fi standard to the 6GHz band will not lead to a higher data rate. 6 GHz Wi-Fi has the same theoretical throughput as 5 GHz Wi-Fi, which is 9.6 Gbps. This is also the maximum speed of Wi-Fi 6.

But the good news is: higher speeds will be possible: In practice, the theoretical highest speed is never achieved, partly due to the interference mentioned. With the increase in spectrum it is possible to transmit data with this maximum channel width. This will increase the throughput! But to be fair, there's a pretty good chance that the 9.6 Gbps throughput rate isn't quite there yet, but it's getting closer.

When will the first Wi-Fi 6E devices be available
The first Wi-Fi 6E devices will hit the market this year. Think of features such as:

- Support 3 GHz bands,
- 14 additional 80 MHz channels or 7 additional super-wide 160 MHz channels,
- Extra powerful CPU, to meet the faster speeds,
- Transfer rates up to 4800 Mbps on the 6 GHz band.

In short, wonderful performance that can only be beaten via wired network connections. but that is not possible and/or practical everywhere.
Guess what? WiFi 7 is already in the making........

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  Hans Noort     13-09-2022 09:30     Comments ( 0 )
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