On April 23, 2020, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) permitted the use of the 1200MHz spectrum in the 6GHz band for unlicensed use. It is one of the most significant upgrades to Wi-Fi in the last 20 years. Also, this remarkable upgrade could mean more reliable and faster Wi-Fi.
Wi-Fi 6 and the previous generations of Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi 4 and Wi-Fi 5) were only restricted to two frequency bands, which are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. However, Wi-Fi 6E is an extension of Wi-Fi 6 and supports all-new 6GHz frequency.
Also, the maximum bandwidth with 2.4GHz was 40MHz per channel, with a total of only 11 channels available. Whereas, at 5GHz, there are a bit more channels typically at 80MHz and even 160MHz in some cases. However, as we add more and more Wi-Fi devices in our homes, bandwidth at 5GHz is also not enough.
With the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band, Spectrum Congestion is a huge problem. For instance, if there are several Wi-Fi networks available in someone’s area, then too many signals interfere with each other. It is the same reason why they feel their Wi-Fi connection is getting slower and less reliable.
However, Wi-Fi 6E could solve all such problems. That is because 6E routers could open up 1200MHz of spectrum in the 6GHz band. Wi-Fi 6E allows 14 additional 80 MHz channels and 7 additional 160 MHz channels. Also, these channels won’t interfere with each other, which means low congestion.
Currently, Wi-Fi 6 at 5GHz frequency band has a maximum theoretical speed of 9.6Gbps. But, unfortunately, in real life, it’s not possible to get precisely that much speed. That is because, with a limited spectrum, Wi-Fi signals aren’t as strong as they could be.
Now, Wi-Fi 6E also promises the same speed of 9.6Gbps. However, the larger chunks of the spectrum could allow Wi-Fi 6E to get somewhere closer to its potential speed.
To get the benefit of the added spectrum, people would require Wi-Fi 6E routers. Along with that, they would need laptops, smartphones, and other devices designed for a Wi-Fi 6E network. Both the routers and compatible devices will start rolling out before the end of this year.