What is WiFi 6e and how can it help businesses?
The average amount of wireless devices connected to WiFi networks has seen a meteoric rise over recent years and is only expected to grow further by 2023. It’s no surprise then, that networks have increasingly struggled to keep a strong connection.
WiFi connection issues are generally caused by spectrum congestion; an issue where too many devices trying to use the same band of frequencies leads to the connection of some devices dropping off. It’s not specific to the number of devices on one network either, as a large number of WiFI networks operating in the area will make your connection less stable and slower as your computer has to fight through competing signals. Not ideal when you’re trying to run a business that relies on a strong internet connection.
This is the problem that WiFi 6e is green lit to solve.
So, what is WiFi 6e, and how does it work?
For the past two decades, WiFi has been operating around the world using 400MHz of spectrum, with all channels split to work within that space. Now though, WiFi 6e has been given the go ahead by governing bodies to use space within the 6GHz spectrum.
As routers mostly send their signals over 2.4GHz or 5GHz bands, the advent of WiFi 6e means that that there is going to be a lot more space for them to operate as the airwaves are decongested.
Why you should be excited for WiFi 6e
So, what does that mean for businesses? Well, the short answer is faster, and more reliable, connections from the next generation of devices. This newly usable spectrum space essentially quadruples the amount of space available for routers and other devices, meaning there will be a significant drop in interference, and connections will become stronger across the board.
By allowing seven WiFi streams able to be used simultaneously without interference, WiFi 6e easily guarantees faster speeds and lower latency rates than any pre-existing versions of WiFi.
What are the benefits of WiFi 6e?
Less latency and faster download and upload speeds may be the big draw when it comes to businesses, but that’s not all that WiFi 6e offers.
Here’s the rundown of the features that WiFi 6e can take advantage of thanks to its access to the 6GHz wireless band.
- No legacy devices use 6GHz – The newly opened 6GHz band is for exclusive use by WiFi 6e devices, allowing them to take full advantage of the increased bandwidth without having to worry about slowing down to support older devices. Not sharing space with older WiFi devices means that the improvements in speed and spectrum belong to WiFi 6e alone, which also frees up the lower bands, allowing these legacy devices to perform better.
- Additional spectrum for fewer overlaps – The places we work, office spaces and residential areas alike, are suffering from crowded networks. The 6GHz band that WiFi 6e will be using supports up to 14 80MHz channels or seven 1690MHz. More channels for WiFi devices mean more available spectrum, improving performance even in densely crowded areas.
- Greater support for high-bandwidth activities – With almost twice as many high-bandwidth channels as previous WiFi iterations, it will be easier than ever to support the likes of super high definition 4k and 8k streaming, HD video conferencing, and virtual reality applications.
- No interference from radar or TV signals – Devices which currently use 160MGz channels in the 5GHz wireless band share the spectrum space with radar devices or television stations, so anyone based near an airport or broadcaster was likely to encounter problems with connectivity. The 6GHz band has no such issues however, so those who have previously been hampered can now take advantage of the vacant 160MHz channels.
- WPA 3 security at all times– WiFi Protected Access (WPA) 3 is mandatory for all WiFi 6 and 6e devices operating on the 6GHz space. WPA 3 is the latest security certification from the WiFi Alliance, a collective of companies and organisations that has come together to drive development and improvement in WiFi communications, and so WiFi networks using the 6GHz band will be more secure and more difficult to hack than ever before.
WiFi 6e is the biggest leap forward for WiFi in around 20 years. Not only will it provide a whole new set of opportunities for devices that can take advantage of the new band, but it will also have real improvements for existing and legacy devices. For businesses, that’s a win-win situation.