Max Zhu, Product Manager, TP-Link speaks with TECHx in an exclusive interview to discuss the uniqueness and benefits of WiFi 6E.
What exactly is the WiFi 6E? How unique is the E?
WiFi 6E works on the same standard as WiFi 6, except that its spectrum has been extended to include the 6 GHz band. Now, the new 6GHz band is designed for existing without causing any overlap or interference. This is a huge advancement from the existing bands where channels are currently congested due to the limited spectra. The latest WiFi 6E comes with support for the 6GHz wireless spectrum to pave the way for exponentially faster wireless speeds and significantly lower latencies than any previous generations. Users simply need to upgrade to a new WiFi 6E-compatible router to avail the benefits that come with these latest airwaves.
How does a 6GHz band change the game?
WiFi essentially works by broadcasting over airwaves, and currently, this happens over two bands, i.e. 2.4GHz and 5GHz. 6GHz is the latest frequency band that ranges from 5.925 GHz to 7.125 GHz, thus it can allow up to 1,200 MHz of additional spectrum space compared to the existing bands. These numbers make a more significant difference than one can understand in the initial stages. While 2.4GHz can travel farther, 6GHz can deliver data much faster and comes with a humungous space for airwaves. This is quite exciting as it basically quadruples the space available compared to traditional WiFi bands and unlocks access to much more bandwidth, significantly faster speeds, and considerably lower latency.
What are the benefits of WiFi 6E and 6GHz?
This latest advancement really opens up resources for future innovations in the fields of AR/VR, 8K streaming and more. To understand the magnitude of this, it is essential to note that since the FCC cleared approved WiFi in 1989, this is the biggest ever spectrum addition after that. The new spectrum brings lots of room for up to seven high-capacity WiFi streams that can be broadcast simultaneously without interfering with each other or eating into any of the previously available bands. The 6GHz band makes way for internet speeds greater than 1Gbps, which can completely transform online games, video calls, virtual computing sessions and much more.
How will this be of an advantage to the average user?
The fact that WiFi 6E can allow 7 additional 160 MHz channels means this can double the bandwidth and throughput to enable exponentially more simultaneous transmissions, that too at the highest possible speeds. This is a complete evolution for home networks. It will ultimately translate into users being able to download huge files really fast and easily enjoy things like 8K movies and AR/VR gaming. This will genuinely eliminate the concept of buffering because the whole-home gigabit coverage and multi-gigabit WiFi capacity it offers means regular home users can finally have access to next-generation computing experiences.
When will WiFi 6E devices start getting introduced in the market?
We can expect to see the first availability of WiFi 6E compatible devices in the final quarter of 2020 or early 2021 at the latest. The actual deployment should start in the first half of 2021, and devices like smartphones are most likely to be one of the initial consumer devices expected to adopt WiFi 6E. Since this can significantly improve WiFi devices’ battery life, many IoT devices will also be seen embracing the 6GHz WiFi in the coming year. Nations like the US, Korea, and Brazil have already approved the 6GHz band, and many other countries are planning to follow suit in opening up their wireless spectrum for commercial use.