The latest Wi-Fi 6 standard was established to increase the efficiency of the 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrum that users have been relying on for decades. Unfortunately, as more of the devices we buy eat up precious bandwidth, these connections can still become congested and slow down like a highway during rush hour. To usher in a faster, more capable generation of high-speed data, the Wi-Fi Alliance has announced a new 6GHz spectrum dubbed Wi-Fi 6E.
Wi-Fi 6E includes all of the benefits of its predecessor — such as better performance, decreased latency, and quicker data rates — but on a new 6GHz band. With Wi-Fi 6E, users will be able to take advantage of 14 additional 80MHz channels and 7 additional 160MHz channels that will lessen data congestion and excel at powering high-bandwidth apps and services. This means users will see vastly improved performance when streaming high-definition video content, diving into virtual reality, and gaming on cloud-powered platforms like Stadia.
Wi-Fi 6E will have to undergo regulatory scrutiny before it is available to the public. The Wi-Fi Alliance hopes that once it is approved — perhaps early this year — manufacturers will be quick to integrate 6GHz compatibility into their products. Analysts believe that the first devices will be consumer access points (wireless routers) and smartphones, followed closely by enterprise-grade access points.
- Wi-Fi Alliance