6 GHz Band - A New “6” Companion for Wi-Fi 6 Devices
Wi-Fi 6 is in full swing this year, and many device manufacturers such as TP-Link, Netgear, and Linksys have already launched Wi-Fi 6 equipment operating in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. 2020, however, promises even more.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recent work to open up the 1,200 MHz channel of the 6 GHz band for unlicensed use promises a new era of high-performance networking.
The VIP lounge for Wi-Fi 6 users
Wi-Fi 6 is a revolutionary Wi-Fi standard as it introduces a bunch of new technology—OFDMA, 1024-QAM, TWT, BSS coloring, and so on. All of this new tech targets the issue of low data speeds and bad network performance in dense environments.
OFDMA, for example, better utilizes bandwidth by allowing multiple users to transmit data simultaneously. OFDMA channel bandwidth also supports 20 MHz, 40 MHz, 80 MHz, and 160 MHz. The data throughput reaches its maximum at the 160 MHz bandwidth.
The truth is, though: in dense environments or large enterprises, it’s hard to find an 80 MHz or 160 MHz channel free from interference caused by devices in the 5 GHz frequency band. In response, the small amount of contiguous spectrum makes it difficult to enable 80 MHz or 160 MHz channels, thereby restricting the data speed available on a network.
Channel congestion is therefore particularly problematic when the low number of Wi-Fi channels available currently forces many users to share the same bandwidth, creating network congestion.
6 GHz is finally here!
With enough spectrum to safely deploy 80 MHz or 160 MHz-wide channels, the 6 GHz frequency band provides instant gratification for all Wi-Fi 6 users. High throughput rates and congestion-free network access can now be instantly achieved.
Existing and emerging applications thanks to 6 GHz
The current trajectory of mobile device proliferation and huge growth in streaming media and online gaming are only a few reasons for the move towards 6 GHz. The growing demand for home and enterprise device capacity is also being driven by new applications. Gaming, IoT, and cloud services continue to be major driving forces for new technology and Wi-Fi demands.
⮚ Creating a true smart home
We’re already seeing advances in IoT and smart homes as more devices become Wi-Fi connected. The 6 GHz spectrum offers enough bandwidth for more smart devices to transmit data and communicate with each other.
⮚ Online gaming with minimal latency
The gaming industry is becoming increasingly cloud-based. Google, for instance, unveiled Stadia, a game streaming service run completely in the cloud. With no offline mode, users need Wi-Fi routers and access points with low latency and no broadband caps. The 6 GHz frequency band helps avoid interference from legacy devices and allows Wi-Fi 6 devices to thrive in dense environments.
⮚ Perfect AR/VR gaming experiences
Immersive technology (AR/VR) has been a massive hit recently. By integrating with Wi-Fi 6, the 6 GHz frequency band provides flawless connectivity experiences, thus augmented and virtual reality is expected to offer even fuller immersion.
Above all, Wi-Fi in the 6 GHz band provides instant network performance increases for Wi-Fi 6 users. While some interference issues remain to be resolved, opening up 6 GHz frequency bands for Wi-Fi use is definitely the right move for a more connected era of Wi-Fi.