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WiFi 6E, the new Wi-Fi after 20 years

In a few months, we are going to witness a big change in Wi-Fi. The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that it will open a plot of 6 GHz spectrum for use without a license. Such a change would allow the user to broadcast the router above the 2.4GHz and 5 GHz bands that are currently being used commercially. After that, the home routers will have more open-air routes to broadcast Wi-Fi signals.

Next year when this new spectrum will be officially opened for business, users’ devices will run faster, connections that will be more reliable than the previous generation. Since the Federal Communications Commission made provision for Wi-Fi in 1989, the decision will add a wide spectrum. This new spectrum has further increased the amount of space available for routers and other devices. As a result, devices will have more bandwidth and less interference.

“This is the biggest decision in the history of Wi-Fi spectrum in twenty years,” said Kevin Robinson, marketing leader of the Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group that oversees the implementation of Wi-Fi. By the end of 2020, the devices are expected to support 6GHz Wi-Fi. Therefore, its implementation is not far away. When it arrives, it will be branded as Wi-Fi 6 E.

What is 6GHz (Wi-Fi 6) Wi-Fi?

Not everyone knows how Wi-Fi works. Wi-Fi works by broadcasting airwaves. The airwaves are open to everyone’s use. The one we have been using form the past operates in two bands, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. From these two bands, most of the users’ router does support only the 2.4GHz band.  Now the third band that has been introduced to the public has added 6 GHz band.

6GHz Wifi

Depending on the band’s number, their features also vary. The 2.4 GHz travels very fast and 6 GHz provides data very fast at a faster rate. It does not matter what specific frequency is used. The only thing that matters is the amount of space available. It has a lot of 6GHz space. The new band’s space is more than the overall Wi-Fi space available before, to be exact, it quadruples the total space possible in conventional Wi-Fi. 

With this 6GHz Wi-Fi, there will be no spectrum interference that will allow for signals to remain faster and stronger in the years. 

Wifi 6E provides Wifi6 technology in 6GHz spectrum (newly unlicensed band in US).

How WiFi 6 is better than the current 2.6 and 5GHz  Wi-Fi?

If your device has trouble connecting to the Wi-Fi network, it may be due to spectrum congestion. When you connect multiple devices with the same band frequency, the network drops on some devices. If you see a lot of Wi-Fi networks in your area, now consider for yourself why your connection is slowing down. The reason is simple, your computer is competing with many signals.

6GHz can solve this problem for you. This allows your router to accommodate so many new airwaves that the signals of the Wi-Fi channels never overlap as they do now. This new spectrum has enough rooms for a maximum of seven Wi-Fi streams. All streams can be broadcasted without interruption without using the previous spectrum.

wifi 6e spectrum
Wi-Fi 6E Spectrum | Source – Broadcom

FCC is opening a 1200 MHz spectrum in the 6 GHz band. For the past two decades, Wi-Fi has been operating in 400 spectra. All the available channels were being split within the same limited space. Within the 6 GHz band, each channel is expected to be 160 MHz in size. But currently available space can only accommodate two channels of this size.

Wi-Fi 6 E and Availability

Wi-Fi 6E is a commercial name for the 6GHz Wi-Fi. Talking about the speeds of the new Wi-Fi 6E,  it has the same technical speed as 5GHz Wi-Fi at 9.6 Gbps. In the current bands, you’re still not getting the above-mentioned speeds but the bands are surely going to lot better than the current ones. Currently, Wi-Fi connections available to smartphones have a great capability in terms of speeds that support Wi-Fi 6, which is basically 5GHz Wi-Fi’s commercial name, but in most cases, they could only go up to 2Gbps. These speeds are almost similar to that we are getting with millimeter waves of 5G bands

Talking about the availability of device that supports new 6GHz bands, we can expect the devices to be available in the market, as of now in US markets in the Q4 of 2020. Until now, the Wi-Fi alliance has not really offered certifications for the Wi-Fi 6E devices. 

It is started to surface that manufacturers are already preparing to manufacture the Wi-Fi 6E chips. The popular chipmaker, Broadcom has announced a Wi-Fi 6E mobile chip. Another giant,  Qualcomm has said that it’s set to support 6GHz Wi-Fi in next-gen wireless equipment. Furthermore, Intel said it’ll have chips available from January 2021. The major router companies, Linksys, Netgear, Tp-Link have indicated that they’re on board making Wi-Fi 6E routers. 

While it comes to the availability of Wi-Fi 6E in Nepal, there is no clear information about what the Nepal Government or the NTA is thinking about. For now, we can expect the NTA to authorize the use of 6GHz Wi-Fi equipment and devices in Nepal as it does not take to long to be available in the country if it gets commercialized internationally.

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