Wi-Fi has got its biggest upgrade in the last 20 years with the introduction of Wi-Fi 6E. So what is Wi-Fi 6E ? Basically Wi-Fi 6E is an extended version of the Wi-Fi 6 which was announced in the last quarter of 2019.The other big news regarding wireless networking was the introduction of Qualcomm Snapdragon X65 the world’s first 5G Modem along side latest wireless charging prototype introduced by Xiaomi Mi Air Charge Technology.
So coming back to Wi-Fi 6E what makes it differ from the Wi-Fi 6. The basic difference between Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E is that the Wi-Fi 6 can provide at a frequency of 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz spectrum whereas Wi-Fi 6E can offer you at a frequency of 6Ghz spectrum. The Federal Communications Commission has voted to open up a plot of spectrum in 6Ghz band.
Ever had a bad Wi-Fi :
Let’s say if you have trouble connecting to your WiFi , then there is a very likely chance of spectrum congestion problem. Let’s say you have a lot of devices that are connected to the same band of frequencies, then over the time of usage some devices will get dropped. That means if too many devices will compete for a bandwidth on the same wireless channel, then some of those signals will start to drop.
With Wi-Fi 6E this problem is solved. It will provide a new and spacious swath of airwaves which does not require overlapping signals. The Wi-Fi 6E with spectrum of 6Ghz has enough room for up to 7 maximum capacity Wi-Fi streams that can all be broadcasted simultaneously without interfering with one another.
What is 6Ghz Wi-Fi?
The lift from 5Ghz to 6Ghz may not seems to be much different but if you look at its molecular level Wi-Fi 6E with 6Ghz band actually quadruples the swath of airwaves or the total space available to the traditional Wi-Fi with the help of its 14 additional 80 MHz channels and 7 super wide channels of 160MHz channels which are available for routers and smartphones. So this means the signal interference will be much lesser.
Till now Wi-Fi has been working over only two bands 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Now with Wi-Fi 6E a new band of 6Ghz frequency has been added.
You may argue that 2.4 GHz band travels farther but the 6Ghz band delivers data faster. The new airwaves will help to uplift the speed . The reason why so is because the limited spectrum that was available with 5Ghz meant that the Wi-Fi signals are not as large as it meant to be. But at 6Ghz ,routers will be able to broadcast at maximum allowable channel size. Hence a much much faster connection will be established. Wi-Fi speed could even hit at 1-2 Gbps in smartphones.
Comparison between Wi-Fi 5, Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E
|WiFi 5||WiFi 6||WiFi 6E|
|Spectrum (GHz)||2.4Ghz, 5 Ghz||2.4 GHz, 5 GHz||6 GHz ( 7x 160MHz channels, no DFS) , 2.4 GHz , 5 GHz|
|MU-MIMO||Downlink ( 4×4 DL, 1×1 UL)||Downlink and Uplink (8×8 DL and UL)||Downlink and Uplink (8×8 DL and UL)|
|Modulation||16/64/256 QAM||16/64/256/1024 QAM||16/64/256/1024 QAM|
|Clients power Channel||OFDM- 1 client ( 20MHz channel)||OFDMA- Up to 74 clients (160 MHz channel)||OFDMA- Up to 74 clients (160 MHz channel)|
|Max data Rate||3.5Gb/s||9.6Gb/s (1.5 Gb/s power device)||9.6Gb/s (2.3 Gb/s power device)|
Benefits of using Wi-Fi 6E
- Enhanced contiguous spectrum of 6 Ghz
- Wider channels including seven superwide channels of 160 Mhz
- Less signal interference
- Very low latency
- Support gigabit speeds
- Has greater capacity
- Seamless Virtual reality Gaming experience
- Improved Broadcasting
- Seamless 8K video experience
- 8K streaming
Availability of WiFi 6E devices
The first smart phones that will have the support of WiFi 6E are Samsung Galaxy S21, Asus ROG Phone 3 and the Lenovo Legion. Each of the above mentioned smartphones have the support for WiFi 6E and 5G .
Wi-Fi 6 supported routers and smart devices have already started rolling out , so it’s very likely that we will see tons of devices of different platforms to introduce the support of WiFi 6E in 2021.
We are now witnessing the arrival of routers with the support for WiFi 6E and the very first among them is the Asus Raptor GT-AXE11000 gaming router, which has the support for the new 6Ghz band. It’s a premium gaming router that can feature a top speed of 11 Gbps. Other manufacturers with the likes of Netgear, Linksys, will soon be launching their WiFi 6E supported routers very soon. Netgear announces its first WiFi 6E router by the name of Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 12 Stream Tri-Brand WiFi 6E router that can offer up to 10.8 Gbps WiFi speed. Linksys may also very soon announce their fastest and most powerful mesh WiFi system Linksys AXE8400 that will have the support for WiFi 6E.
Chipmaker Broadcom has announced a WiFi 6E mobile chip named as Broadcom BCM4389 which can deliver up to 2 Gbps of real world speeds and up to 5 times better battery utilization. As of now limited smartphones ( only 3) followed by Asus gaming router GT-AXE11000 and Netgear Nighthawk RAXE500 are the only devices that support WiFi 6E and are available for consumer market. In coming months different devices on different platforms will soon have the support for WiFi 6E starting from smartphones, laptops, smart watches, smart TVs , routers, smart home assistants and many other smart devices. As per Solis it is expected that around 316 million smart devices will have the support for WiFi 6E by the end of 2021.
New smartphones that have the Qualcomm FastConnect 6700 or Qualcomm FastConnect 6900 will support the 6 Ghz band with a peak speed up to 3.6 Gbps. Intel may soon introduce Intel Wi-Fi 6E AX210 ( Gig+) Adapter in its laptops that will support the 6Ghz WiFi. It can deliver nearly 3x higher data rates up to 2.4 Gbps. Recently rumours have been floating around that Xiaomi also demonstrated its Wi-Fi 6E router as Mi Router AX6000 which approximately will cost around $91
How would you know if your devices supports WiFi 6E
You may find label that reads “WiFi 6E” on the box. That’s great news as the devices has the support for WiFi 6E but to experience the real speed of WiFi 6E you will need to have a WiFi 6E router at your home or workplace. Apart from this all WiFi 6E devices will be compatible with one another and backwards compatible to any of the routers at home.
When you should go for WiFi 6E
As for now the answer is to wait as WiFi 6E supported devices are limited for now which means going for buying them now may force you to pay a much higher amount. As all new technologies it will also have a very high adopter fee. Whereas if you wait till the next year when many other manufacturers and companies will have WiFi 6E compatible devices prices will fall down considerably which will make it easier to buy along with plentiful options available to choose from.
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