On April 23, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made 1200 megahertz of unlicensed spectrum in 6 GHz available for unlicensed Wi-Fi use – paving the way for faster, higher capacity, and lower latency Wi-Fi devices and networks.
According to Wi-Fi Alliance, the Wi-Fi users will quickly benefit from additional capacity, wider channels, and less congested spectrum. Certification for Wi-Fi 6E – the brand name for Wi-Fi 6 devices operating in 6 GHz – will be available in early 2021.
Wi-Fi Alliance has been working to prepare interoperability certification as soon as Wi-Fi 6E devices enter the market so 6 GHz benefits can reach consumers, device manufacturers, and service providers more quickly.
The Wi-Fi industry has coalesced around certification to rapidly deliver the program to market and enable worldwide interoperability of Wi-Fi 6E devices as additional countries make 6 GHz spectrum available.
“By making 6 GHz available for unlicensed use, the FCC has secured the future of Wi-Fi. 6 GHz access is a seminal development for connectivity and provides Wi-Fi more capacity to deliver groundbreaking use cases and to unlock novel new Wi-Fi applications,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance. “Today’s global climate highlights how important Wi-Fi is in connectivity and productivity, and new Wi-Fi 6E solutions will further increase Wi-Fi’s standing.”
Wi-Fi 6E will soon provide higher resolution streaming for applications such as video conferencing, lower latency for gaming and industrial IoT, and faster download speeds to provide critical services to enterprise, education, and healthcare markets. Users will also see a new generation of mobile devices, including those that deliver bi-directional video and AR/VR applications.
“We expect initial Wi-Fi 6E products to enter the market this year, with the first Wi-Fi 6E access points available by the fourth quarter of 2020,” said Phil Solis, research director at IDC. “We expect Wi-Fi 6E will gain momentum and see rapid 2021 adoption with more chipsets targeting flagship smartphones, PCs, TVs, and even VR devices.”
Wi-Fi 6E extends the capabilities of Wi-Fi 6 into 6 GHz, and the additional spectrum addresses Wi-Fi’s spectrum shortage by bringing nearly six times the total capacity in both 2.4 and 5 GHz, seven contiguous 160 MHz channels, and less interference from legacy Wi-Fi devices. This translates to multigigabit Wi-Fi speeds and more devices performing optimally on a Wi-Fi network at once. 6 GHz brings more benefits from the latest generation of Wi-Fi, paving the way for faster, higher-performance, and lower latency Wi-Fi devices and networks.