Wi-Fi 6E is the next biggest revolution in Wi-Fi and is set to dramatically alter our experience with wireless networks. Many manufacturers either have WiFi 6E devices available or will be releasing them very shortly.
Why WiFi 6E?
With the enforced lockdowns over the past 18 months or so Internet and Wi-Fi usage surged by 80 percent over the previous 12 months and Deloitte’s Advanced Wireless Survey 2021 revealed 84 percent of respondents believe advanced wireless networking will transform Australian companies within the next year.
Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax, took the world by storm in 2020 offering increased wireless connectivity, performance and bandwidth at higher speed, flexibility and scalability. Today, Australia is preparing to roll out the next ground-breaking enhancement to the wireless standard, Wi-Fi 6E.
Recognised as the largest expansion of Wi-Fi capacity in over a decade, Wi-Fi 6E finally gets new spectrum to utilise in the 6GHz band, providing faster, resilient and more secure connectivity.
The Wi-Fi 6E strengthens benefits and features from the existing Wi-Fi 6 standard and extends it to the 6GHz band to provide more contiguous spectrum, wider channels and less interference than previous generation. Benefits include Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access (OFDMA), Bi-Directional MU-MIMO, BSS Colouring and the ability to support use cases that demand multi-gigabit speeds.
As organisations increase the use of immersive technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), high-resolution video conferencing, cloud, hybrid technologies and IoT devices, we are faced with increasing Wi-Fi congestion impacting user experience. Wi-Fi 6E allows enterprises to fully utilise these technologies by more than doubling current Wi-Fi capacity with the newly available spectrum.
A closer look at Wi-Fi 6E
Already adopted in the US, UK and parts of Europe, Wi-Fi 6E will offer Australia all the cutting-edge features and high network performance of Wi-Fi 6 on the 6GHz band, backed by government approved regulations. The opening of 1200MHz spectrum in the 6GHz band will allow for higher throughput and improved application performance, and up to seven 160 MHz channels will support increased bandwidth and removing slowdowns caused by legacy devices.
Most organisation utilise 2.4GHz to support legacy devices and spread connectivity bandwidth across mixed, complex environments. Moving to Wi-Fi 6E offers organisations access to capacity never available before to meet growing business demands and complement advanced technology adoption. The new Wi-Fi 6E will address challenges like high density, high number of device environment providing simultaneous connectivity, while having increased security within the workforce.
Wi-Fi 6E will be a key enabler of various emerging digital use cases, from complementing cloud services, edge networking, IoT to 5G, modern mobile workforces and hybrid workspaces.
As with all Wi-Fi solutions, it needs to be designed correctly to minimise interference from objects and materials in the environment. ICS Technologies can perform site surveys and create heat maps.
Internationally the 6 GHz band (5925–7125 MHz) has been allocated for radio local area network (RLAN) equipment in Australia. This is beyond the existing 5GHz band (5610-5835 MHz) The ACMA presently allows the use of the lower part of the 6 GHz band (5925–6425 MHz) and are seeking additional comments on potential future uses of the upper part of the band (6425–7125 MHz), including for higher power RLAN devices and on possible changes to existing RLAN arrangements in part of the 5 GHz band (5150–5250 MHz).