Wi-Fi 6E is the newest wireless network standard. With support for 6 GHz frequencies, in addition to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz already present in today’s dual-band routers, the innovation is designed to reduce congestion problems and ensure access to more channels. The idea, therefore, is to improve the condition of Wi-Fi networks in high-demand situations, such as streaming, and games, among others.
The technology was authorized by the FCC in the United States, and technology agencies in most countries are already studying the release of the use of this frequency band. Check below for more information about Wi-Fi 6E and understand how it works, the advantages over standard Wi-Fi 6, and its compatibility with devices that use older versions of wireless connectivity.
What is Wi-Fi 6E?
Wi-Fi 6E is a new standard that complements 802.11ax (6) Wi-Fi, freeing up the 6 GHz frequency bands for such connections. With this, the network offers three bands, 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz, allowing more stable connectivity and ensuring higher performance between compatible devices. One of the great highlights is the offer of a larger number of channels, avoiding congestion problems. According to WI-Fi Alliance, an entity that gathers companies and regulates the use of the technology, Wi-FI 6E brings 14 new channels of 80 MHz and 7 of 160 MHz.
How is it better than Wi-Fi 6?
The Wi-Fi 6E standard is an evolution of Wi-Fi 6, and the main difference is the addition of 6 GHz frequencies. Thus, the general characteristics are the same between the two technologies, especially regarding the efficiency of connections and speed gains. The performance of the new Wi-Fi 6E for short-distance connections should be superior, much due to the offer of an additional 1,200 MHz in networks of this type.
An analogy that can help you understand is comparing the different bands to different buckets full of water. With a needle, the amount of liquid leaking is smaller, but the flow goes further. A hole drilled in the side of the object will release more water at a shorter length.
The smaller opening can be compared to the 2.4 GHz range, with 50 MHz bands and greater coverage, while the larger one is equivalent to the 5 GHz network, which covers smaller areas but has a greater data exchange per second. In this analogy, the 6 GHz network would be much larger, with 1,200 MHz. Therefore, the water would come out closer to the bucket and with higher volume at one time, at high speed.
It is still early to know how Wi-Fi 6E will be used and how it will behave in real use, but the trend is that these networks will arrive to ensure high performance in connections between devices located in the same room.
Does it work with all devices?
All generations of Wi-Fi are compatible with each other, and this is also true for 6E networks. With this, it would be possible to connect an older notebook, with Wi-Fi 3, for example, to a 6E router. Similarly, a smartphone already supporting Wi-Fi 6E will be compatible with Wi-Fi 5 network devices.
The big question is whether the benefits of the latest technology will only be accessed when both devices have support for the standard. In practice, this means that your future Wi-Fi 6E router will only have the 6 GHz range used by compatible devices. It is worth noting that Qualcomm has already announced a new smartphone processor that provides for the use of the new Wi-Fi.
Considering mobile phones already launched in the market, the “common” Wi-Fi 6 is still uncommon, restricted to top models from brands such as Apple, with iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, and iPhone SE 2. Samsung also offers the 802.11ax standard in premium smartphones Galaxy S20, Galaxy S20 Plus, and Galaxy S20 Ultra.
What can you use it for?
There are two great benefits of Wi-Fi 6E in the spotlight. The first is avoiding interference and congested lanes. With more channels offering no overlap and shorter distances, the trend is for problems of this type to diminish significantly. Another interesting application of the technology is the guarantee of high-speed wireless connection when necessary, in case of activities involving virtual reality headsets, for example. Wi-Fi 6E can be a key piece to handle the huge amount of data needed to transmit games and videos with quality during the experience.
High-resolution streaming is also a good example, even in general use. Those who enjoy playing online know that, in general, the recommended thing is to connect the computer or console to the router via cable, which ensures greater stability. With Wi-Fi 6E, it will be possible to use high-speed wireless connections without having substandard performance.
Also, the reduction of latency in the connection can drop a lot, contributing to the solution of several limitations in gaming platforms via streaming that have come to market recently, such as Google Stadia or PlayStation Now. Other benefits are in increasing the efficiency of wireless networks with many simultaneous users.
When will it reach your country?
The whole discussion about Wi-Fi 6E is only possible because the FCC, the American agency responsible for the authorization of new technologies in the country, decided to release bands of 6 GHz frequency for the use of Wi-Fi networks this year. This way, manufacturers can already explore the adoption of the new standard in future products, which is even closer to Qualcomm’s recent announcement.
The trend is for other telecommunications agencies in all countries to begin releasing the 6 GHz frequency when they deem fit.