What is WiFi 6E?
Significant milestones in the development of WiFi have the labels 802.11a, 802.11b, 802.11g, 802.11n 802.11ac and 802.11ax given by their creators the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
The next of these will be 802.11be that we expect to called WiFi 7; it will probably arrive for use in 2023.
Recently, extra spectrum has been allocated that will be used by WiFi in 2021.
That spectrum extends the already used 5 GHz spectrum into the 6 GHz band.
As this extra spectrum arrived while WiFi 6 was current and is an extension into the 6 GHz band, some have started to use the term WiFi 6E, although in fact WiFi 6 and the extension into 6 GHz are separate things.
How can WiFi 6E help my business?
WiFi 6 has many technical advantages that broadly improve performance and efficiency, as usual with each WiFi update.
Interestingly, the spectrum extension allows more data to be transferred at the same time before WiFi starts to degrade, regardless of which version of WiFi uses it.
This is because the limit on how much data can be transferred per second is in fact a limit on how much can be transferred per second in an amount of spectrum, so that problem is less if you have more spectrum to spread it out in.
This is important for spaces that have a high density of users, such as venues stadiums and academic institutions, especially if they are open spaces.
It is also useful for businesses that are close together, such as in multi-tenancy buildings and shopping centres.
Faster than WiFi
It is possible to exchange data wirelessly at much high rates than 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz and 6 GHz WiFi using higher frequencies, but due to the laws of physics combined with transmit power regulations the range is reduced.
Nonetheless, this kind of wireless communication will still be useful.
One of its common uses is for wireless video which often requires a high bandwidth over short distances.
As a result, several technologies have been developed for this scenario working in the 60 GHz band.
Another could be personal area networks, because they do not require long ranges and benefit from the very small antennas possible with 60 GHz.
WiFi is already possible at 60 GHz and an adapted form is being used for wireless links where it benefits from its immunity to interference from the more widely used 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.