Wi-Fi to get biggest upgrade since its launch in 1997

Devices are expected to start supporting 6GHz Wi-Fi by the end of 2020 under the name "Wi-Fi 6E"


Tech Desk April 24, 2020
PHOTO: AFP

Wi-Fi will be getting upgraded in the coming months as The Federal Communications Commission has voted to open up a plot of spectrum in the 6GHz band for unlicensed use that enables your router to broadcast over the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands.

Once the new spectrum is officially launched for businesses, wifi uswe can expect a faster and more reliable connection on the latest devices.

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“This is the most monumental decision around Wi-Fi spectrum in its history, in the 20 years, we’ve been around,” Kevin Robinson, marketing leader for the Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry-backed group that oversees the implementation of Wi-Fi, said ahead of the vote.

This is a groundbreaking moment since the FCC cleared the way for Wi-Fi in 1989.

Wi-Fi works by broadcasting over airwaves that are open for anyone to use and at present there are two bands: 2.4GHz and 5GHz now a third band, 6GHz will be added.

The new spectrum quadruples the amount of space offered to routers and other devices, which mean more bandwidth available and a lot less interference for any device that can take advantage of it

Devices are expected to start supporting 6GHz Wi-Fi by the end of 2020 under the name “Wi-Fi 6E.”

When we face trouble in connecting our device to a Wi-Fi network it is usually due to spectrum congestion because too many devices are trying to connect to the same band of frequencies.

Having 6GHz Wi-Fi means that there is enough space for up to seven maximum-capacity Wi-Fi streams to all be broadcast simultaneously and not interfere with each other.

Smartphones are likely to be the first consumer devices to adopt Wi-Fi 6E, Phil Solis, a wireless analyst with IDC, told The Verge.

Two major router companies, Linksys and Netgear, have signaled that they’re on board. And Apple previously said the FCC’s approval “sets the course for the next generation of Wi-Fi networks.”

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“Wi-Fi’s a very important part of the phone, so higher-end phones have higher quality Wi-Fi chips in them,” said Solis.

“Smartphones are a key product that makes sense for 6E because people use their phones for pretty much everything,” he said.

However, one thing to note is that 6GHz Wi-Fi has the same top speed as 5GHz Wi-Fi: 9.6 Gbps, the maximum offered under the Wi-Fi 6 standard, the current version of Wi-Fi.

This means you are still going to be getting that speed in real life but the good news is that the new airwaves will help increase your speed up.

At 6GHz, the routers will be broadcasting at the existing maximum allowable channel size, meaning a faster connection.

The article originally published on The Verge.

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