Wi-Fi Alliance Looks To Next Generation With ‘Wi-Fi 6E’

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Industry group is pushing governments to open up 6 GHz spectrum, which it says would ease Wi-Fi network congestion in dense urban environments

The Wi-Fi Alliance has said it plans to use the designation Wi-Fi 6E for devices capable of using the 6 GHz band, if, as it expects, governments open the band to unlicensed use.

The Wi-Fi 6E term is intended to distinguish devices using the new Wi-Fi 6 standard that are also capable of using 6 GHz spectrum, which device makers say would help ease congestion and interference caused by large numbers of Wi-Fi networks operating near to one another.

IDC said regulators may begin making the spectrum available as soon as early this year, with the US, Europe and the APAC region amongst those working on new rules.

If so, the Wi-Fi Alliance said it expects 6E devices to appear shortly afterward, with consumer access points and smartphones being followed by enterprise access points.

Industrial applications

Industrial environments would be a strong candidate for using 6 GHz products for applications including machine analytics, remote maintenance and virtual employee training, the alliance said.

“6 GHz will help address the growing need for Wi-Fi spectrum capacity to ensure Wi-Fi users continue to receive the same great user experience with their devices,” said Wi-Fi Alliance president and chief executive Edgar Figueroa.

The 6 GHz band addresses spectrum shortage issues by making available an additional 14 80 MHz channels and seven additional 160 MHz channels.

Throughput

The industry group said this could be a boost for high-bandwidth applications that require faster data throughput, such as high-definition video streaming and virtual reality.

Wider channels and additional capacity would mean greater network performance and would support more Wi-Fi users at once, even in dense and congested urban environments, the alliance said.

It said it’s supporting international advocacy efforts in aid of making the spectrum available to Wi-Fi devices.

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