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WiFi 6E, the Future of WiFi 6

WiFi 6E, the Future of WiFi 6

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People are still excited about WiFi 6 new features, while WiFi 6E is already on the horizon. Announced by WiFi Alliance, Wi-Fi 6E is the latest standard of Wi-Fi 6, also known as 802.11ax.

However, why did the WiFi Alliance release a new version of the WiFi standard so quickly after WiFi 6? What’s the difference between WiFi 6 and WiFi 6E?  We will talk about it in this article.

Why do We Need the WiFi 6E?

The reason is actually very simple, over the course of a long period of time (from WiFi 4 to WiFI 6), the WiFi standards improved the wireless speed through two different approaches. The first is to add more antennas to increase the total bandwidth; more antennas mean more concurrent connections, which means faster transfer speeds. The other is to improve the way of signal coding and transmission, through wider modulation and larger signal bandwidth, to achieve the transmission of more data in the same antenna and at the same time.

Because of the growing number of wireless devices, the number of connected wireless devices in the home has also increased dramatically, resulting in excessive congestion in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands. And it is difficult for a device to provide a high-speed and stable Wi-Fi signal.

Although Wi-Fi 6 with many new features to increase the speed. However, the frequency bands used are still 2.4GHz and 5GHz.

The Wi-Fi Alliance® introduced a new term, Wi-Fi 6E, to describe devices that will operate in the 6 GHz band. These devices will bring significant improvements over current Wi-Fi technologies, such as increased speeds, lower latency, better security, and expanded coverage.


WiFI 6E vs WiFi

(Image: Wi-Fi Alliance)

What is WiFi 6E? 

WiFi 6E, the letter E means extended, because Wi-Fi 6E extends the existing Wi-Fi 6 standard by adding a 6GHz wireless band. This new band also provides an additional 1,200MHz of bandwidth.

The 6GHz band supports up to 14 x 80MHz channels or 7 x160MHz channels. It supports nearly double the number of high-bandwidth (80GHz, 160MHz) channels than 5GHz; thus providing more bandwidth for 4K and 8K streaming, virtual reality gaming, and HD video conferencing.

Since this frequency band has not been used in the past and the wireless resources are very abundant, WiFi 6E devices can continue to use larger transmission bandwidth and more concurrent antenna stacks, thereby significantly improving the connection speed.

Wi-FI 6E is also more secure than its predecessor due to the mandatory inclusion of the next-generation Wi-Fi security protocol, WPA3 (Wi-Fi Protected Access 3), making it harder for hackers to break into the network.


Advantages of Wi-FI 6E

(Image: Wi-Fi Alliance)

Higher Speed

WiFi 6E provides up to 1,200 MHz of additional spectrum for 6 GHz WiFi. This spectrum allows for greater throughput, enabling faster connections and better performance.

With more spectrum available, operators can increase coverage and capacity without having to build out new infrastructure. In addition, the 1.2 GHz of the continuous spectrum increases the number of transmission pathways available for sending and receiving information, doubling the amount of bandwidth available per device compared to current technology. 


(Image: Wi-Fi Alliance)

Low Latency

Latency is the length of time it usually takes for a signal to travel between two points on a computer or internet connection. Low latency is important for smooth real-time applications like video conferencing and games.

The 2.4GHz band reaches wireless networks at a greater range than the 5GHz band but isn’t particularly fast. On the other hand, the 5GHz band is significantly faster than the 2.4GHz band but doesn’t reach as far.

WiFi 6E uses 6 GHz wireless technology, which is very fast compared to older technologies. It’s similar to having your own personal data highway, free from the congestion that slows down older technologies. Latency is up to 75% lower than with Wi-fi 5; the Wi-Fi Alliance believes that Wi-Fi 6E is expected to support applications such as high-definition video and VR that require faster, larger bandwidth capacity, and lower latency networks through additional spectrum capacity.

Above: Results from our demo show Wi-Fi 6E delivering lower latencies and higher resolutions than 802.11ac for three different types of scenarios. Graphic courtesy Intel.



Wi-Fi 6E uses a new, exclusive frequency band that is much larger and contains many more channels than the frequencies used by previous generations of Wi-Fi technology.

Based on the bandwidth and security advantages offered by Wi-Fi 6E, the 6GHz band in Wi-Fi 6E will help users access the Internet easily and quickly in crowded places such as sports venues, commercial venues, and apartment complexes. Essentially, you don’t compete for bandwidth with people nearby.

(Image: Wi-Fi Alliance)

Disadvantages of WiFi 6E

But Wi-Fi 6E isn’t without its drawbacks. Perhaps the biggest hurdle is that it will require users to have upgraded, and possibly more expensive, routers. To take full advantage of it, users will need to have devices that can access their 6GHz band, which aren’t many right now.

Also, because the Wi-Fi 6E spectrum has shorter wavelengths than previous Wi-Fi standards, its coverage doesn’t extend very far. In terms of physical characteristics, the lower the frequency signal, the stronger the penetration ability, while the higher frequency signal is more easily reflected and the penetration ability is weaker. Similarly, Wi-Fi 6E has a good signal in the same space, but once separated by a wall or two, the effect can be greatly reduced. So you may need to use a Wi-Fi extender or repeater in your home or other building.

How Will WiFi 6E Influence Daily Life?

Wi-Fi 6E uses the capabilities of the 6 GHz band to enable high-speed wireless networking. It enables high-quality HD video streams and low-latency connections for online games.

Online Gaming
Video Conference
8K Video Streaming

How to get WiFi 6E?

Wi-Fi 6E is available now, and users can find routers that support this new technology from brands like Netgear, Asus, Cisco, and TP-Link.

Wi-Fi 6E routers support all Wi-Fi 6-compatible devices, including phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 (and later Galaxy models); iPhone 11, 12, and SE models; and some laptops, but not MacBooks.

Additionally, all Wi-Fi 6E routers are also backward compatible with previous Wi-Fi standards. This means that Wi-Fi 6E routers still support older devices, but those devices won’t necessarily be able to take advantage of the added 6GHz high-speed band.

However, the newly added 6GHz band also increases the operating power of the router, which also explains that routers that support Wi-Fi 6E function consume more power than Wi-Fi 6 routers.

All that said, the rollout of Wi-Fi 6E as a common standard will still take a while. So don’t worry about your current router going out of date tomorrow.

Last but not least,  if you want to think about upgrading to a newer Wi-Fi 6E product sooner rather than later. You have to consider each country’s regulation, such as China government still not opening the 6GHz spectrum, and the US FCC hasn’t opened up the 6GHz spectrum just yet.

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