Wi-Fi Basics: What is Wi-Fi 6E?
In this blog post, we’re keeping things simple. We’ll be discussing Wi-Fi 6E, which resulted in the biggest spectrum addition since the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cleared the way for Wi-Fi back in 1989.
- What is Wi-Fi 6E?
- What’s the difference between Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E?
- What are the benefits of Wi-Fi 6E?
What is Wi-Fi 6E?
First announced by the Wi-Fi Alliance in January of 2020 — and later ratified by the FCC in April of the same year — Wi-Fi 6E refers to a Wi-Fi standard that leverages spectrum in the 6GHz band. In plainer language, this means there are now more airwaves for broadcasting Wi-Fi signals available to routers.
According to the Wi-Fi Alliance, the addition of this 6GHz spectrum addresses Wi-Fi spectrum shortages by “providing contiguous spectrum blocks to accommodate 14 additional 80 MHz channels and 7 additional 160 MHz channels which are needed for high-bandwidth applications that require faster data throughput such as high-definition video streaming and virtual reality.”
We’ll cover the major benefits in more detail in just a moment, but for now, it’s helpful to know that these additional channels promise faster, more reliable Wi-Fi connections and capacity for more sophisticated devices and use cases. Indeed, Wi-Fi 6E devices use wider channels and additional capacity to deliver greater network performance and support more Wi-Fi users at once, even in congested environments.
What’s the difference between Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E?
Put simply, Wi-Fi 6 is limited by law to the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands, whereas Wi-Fi 6E operates exclusively in the 6GHz spectrum.
The allocation of 6GHz spectrum for unlicensed use was in part a response to capacity shortages in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands. The legal limitations placed on Wi-Fi 6 mean that all Wi-Fi 6-enabled devices must compete with one another for bandwidth in these wireless channels, which have proven insufficient to carry the multitude of new Wi-Fi devices and deployments.
To that end, a helpful way to think about Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E is to imagine them as two parallel freeways, facilitating more traffic than either one is individually capable of accommodating.
What are the benefits of Wi-Fi 6E?
The primary benefit of Wi-Fi 6E is that it’s fast. It offers internet speeds upwards of 1Gbps. In addition, the added spectrum means lower latency for things like digital streaming, online gaming, video conferencing and other telecommuting solutions, and more.
From a consumer’s perspective, Wi-Fi 6E will facilitate improved home network capacity (i.e., less spectrum congestion), meaning it’ll be able to support more devices doing more complex actions with far less of an impact on bandwidth. So, if a family can’t agree on which Netflix series to binge next, everyone can go their separate ways and watch whatever shows they prefer without hellacious buffering.
What’s more, Wi-Fi 6E’s improved performance will open the door to more sophisticated services, offerings, and use cases. Disruptive technologies will now have better connectivity, capable of supporting a wide range of next-generation Internet of Things (IoT) and communications solutions.
Pareteum is an experienced provider of Communications Platform as a Service solution. We empower IoT developers, enterprises, OEMs, communications service providers, internet service providers, mobile operators, early-stage innovators, and telecommunications infrastructure providers with the freedom and control to create, deliver, and scale innovative communications experiences.
The Pareteum platform connects people and devices around the world using the secure, ubiquitous, and highly scalable solution to deliver data, voice, video, SMS/text messaging, media, and content enablement.
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