Wi-Fi 6E looks to use 6GHz spectrum for faster wireless connectivity

WiFi on 6 will be extended to the 6GHz spectrum, along with the available 2,4GHz and 5GHz coverage, with this fresh spectrum set to be classified as WiFi 6E, and natively supported devices such as smartphones and consumer routers.

This is at least the theoretical next step in the world of wireless Internet access, according to a press release from the Wi-Fi Alliance, although the organization notes that the 6GHz plan is subject to regulatory approval.

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It is hoped that this is “an important part of the unlicensed spectrum…may soon be available to regulators around the world”, and following that official approval, Wi-Fi 6E internet devices will become quickly available.

As mentioned, the initial WiFi 6E devices are expected to include phones and WiFi hotspot users, and those who follow corporate hotspots.

The Wi-Fi Alliance also noted that it expects significant WiFi adoption at the 6E in industrial settings, as well as promoting the likes of remote maintenance or machine analytics.

In addition, Wi-Fi Internet 6E is expected to be used as augmented and virtual reality, from the point of view of both business and consumer equipment.

All of this assumes a regulatory path is clear for the use of the 6GHz wireless spectrum, of course.

Spectrum deficit

In general, the idea is to eliminate the potential shortage in Wi-Fi spectrum as more and more wireless devices provide fresh bandwidth which will have less interference from existing Wi-Fi on 4 or 5 devices.

On the notes: “6 GHz address and Wi-Fi spectrum scarcity by providing contiguous spectrum blocks to accommodate 14 additional 80 MHz and 160 MHz channels 7 additional channels that are needed for high bandwidth applications that require higher bandwidth data such as video high definition, streaming and virtual reality.”

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As has always been the case with Wi-Fi 6, the idea is not only speed, but better performance in dense environments where there are many wireless devices (such as homes or public areas).

When Wi-Fi 6 first opened, the intention to use multiple frequency bands in the future - just like traditional 2,4GHz and 5GHz Wi-Fi - was clear, so it's not surprising that this is happening.

One slight oddity is that the whole point of introducing WiFi 6 as a new name for the wireless standard formerly known as 802.11 ax is to simplify the naming scheme, and make it more consumer-friendly (and previous wireless standards, too, which has become WiFi on 5 and 4).

So announcing WiFi on the 6E as another option rather goes against that goal in terms of introducing a potential degree of confusion for less tech-savvy people.

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