The Wi-Fi Alliance has introduced a new term for Wi-Fi products that can operate in the 6 GHz band: Wi-Fi 6E. The US is expected to be the first market to approve use of the new frequency band for Wi-Fi applications, in order to relieve congestion in the existing 2.4 and 5 GHz ranges. Several countries in Europe and Asia are also considering opening up the frequencies.
The 6 GHz band addresses Wi-Fi spectrum shortage by providing contiguous spectrum blocks to accommodate 14 additional 80 MHz channels and seven additional 160 MHz channels. These are needed for high-bandwidth applications that require faster data throughput such as HD video streaming and virtual reality, the Wi-Fi Alliance said. Wi-Fi 6E devices will leverage wider channels and additional capacity to deliver greater network performance and support more Wi-Fi users at once, even in very dense and congested environments.
WifiForward, the industry group working on opening up more spectrum to Wi-Fi services, said the announcement showed that industry will be unleashing “even more” innovation in the 6 GHz band, as soon as the FCC can make it available for technologies like Wi-Fi. “Unlicensed spectrum stands out as one of the FCC’s most successful policy experiments ever. By allowing permissionless innovation in a band of spectrum, we’ve seen billions of dollars of economic value created, millions of people and devices connected and terabytes of critical data sent via technology like Wi-Fi,” WifiForward said.