With more and more smart devices making their way into daily life, Wi-Fi experts have predicted that the need for Wi-Fi speed will be even greater in the next few years. In commercial spheres especially, the ability to manage one network with many devices is paramount. Hence, Wi-Fi6 and Wi-Fi6E are entering the scene. What are they, what do they have to offer, and what should you expect to change?
What Are Wi-Fi6 and Wi-Fi6E?
Most Wi-Fi devices in 2020 are connecting to the Internet via Wi-Fi5 or 802.11ac. Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax is the next generation of Wi-Fi, providing more bandwidth and thus faster and more reliable network connectivity. The Wi-Fi6E extended is a term to identify Wi-Fi devices that can operate in the 6GHz band newly opened by the FCC.
How Does It Work?
Wi-Fi5 offers 3.5 Gbps while Wi-Fi6 provides 9.6 Gbps, but this only scratches the surface of what capabilities the new version offers. When people think of improved Wi-Fi, they typically think of speed. However, speed increases and remains stable based at least partly on the bandwidth available. To use a metaphor, if a stream separates into several branches, and a farmer wants to create another few channels to water his crops, the water level in the branches may lower after his irrigation work is done. (This is parallel to slow Wi-Fi.) To maintain the same water flow level, he might widen the stream’s head to let in more water for all the branches.
In the same way, Wi-Fi6 opens up a wider bandwidth to send out information to more devices in a limited area at once. Your Internet speed may not be any faster than it is now, but with Wi-Fi6 and Wi-Fi6E, you are far less likely to experience slowing or interruptions.
What to Expect
If you expect a surge in smart devices at your business in the future, you may want to eventually invest in Wi-Fi6E Wi-Fi Access Points and Wireless Controllers (WLC). However, the chance is small that the network will reach its full capacity, and the few Wi-Fi6E devices available are at top price. As you need new phones, computers, etc. in the next few years, you can expect them to be designed for Wi-Fi6.
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