Sponsored Wi-Fi 6E: The Wi-Fi Alliance extension of the 802.11ax standard (Wi-Fi 6) to use the 6 GHz band – is a significant and timely step towards reliable, congestion-free connectivity. It will also serve as a major impetus for wireless innovation in the connected home through the current COVID-19 pandemic.
The growing momentum in the launch of the 6 GHz spectrum worldwide for unlicensed use, including Wi-Fi, has opened up 1.2 GHz of bandwidth capacity. Today, 600 MHz of unrestricted spectrum in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands is assigned to Wi-Fi. But the demand for Wi-Fi connections is growing exponentially and by 2022 it is expected to carry 51% of all IP traffic.
Consumer devices with Wi-Fi 6E will enter the market in 2021. To support 6 GHz, home gateways and routers will need to be replaced by three-band devices that support 2.4, 5, and 6 GHz. Over the next three years, Wi-Fi 7 (802.11be) operational functions will also be completed.
In today’s homes, Wi-Fi is an essential utility that connects many devices, including laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart TVs, security cameras, smart assistants, and even doorbells. The growing number of devices connected to the era of the Internet of Things (IoT) has caused congestion in the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. And as access network speeds increase, home Wi-Fi performance needs to be maintained. Even more so, the pandemic is turning home rooms into work and school spaces.
The persistent global pandemic of COVID-19 has forced millions of employees into distance employment contracts. And this trend is likely to continue even in a post-pandemic world. Already, government agencies and companies around the world have been looking for remote and telework opportunities in the future and have had a longer vision focusing on employee productivity and effective remote work policies.
A global ServiceNow survey found that executives believed that better use of technology to improve efficiency is the greatest benefit to their teams. In the United States, one of the top priorities for government agencies is to ensure that their workforce has secure and efficient remote network connectivity.
To do this, the reliability and performance of Wi-Fi 6 technology are ideal to support remote healthcare applications such as virtual medical visits, telemedicine and aging, as well as platforms that offer Internet of Things, security, intelligent assistant Smart, e-learning, high-end video streaming and low-latency on-demand services under the cloud.
Wi-Fi 6 includes new technologies to optimize spectrum efficiency, including orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA), MU-MIMO, long OFDM signal, 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation (1024- QAM) and Target Awakening Time (TWT). For example, TWT allows devices to negotiate deterministically when and how often they wake up to send or receive data; 1024-QAM and Long Signal OFDM aim to make outdoor Wi-Fi more reliable and dependable.
The Wi-Fi 6 standard on either side allows you to schedule traffic to specific devices. OFDMA, a multi-user version of OFDM, allows you to serve multiple users with a variable bandwidth simultaneously by dividing the spectrum and assigning it to different users.
The ability to offer a deterministic, low latency and highly reliable quality of service works even better in the 6 GHz band, where the availability of 1,200 MHz of contiguous spectrum allows to join multiple channels from 20 MHz to 80 MHz more wide (14 new channels), and even at 160 MHz (7 new channels).
This alleviates congestion issues to better support more connected devices and device types in high-density environments, such as multi-unit drives (MDUs).
“Wi-Fi 6E enables the immediate use of the promised Wi-Fi 6 efficiencies, providing a spectrum platform for the next phase of lower-latency, deterministic Wi-Fi services,” says Charles Cheevers, CTO of CommScope Home Network Solutions. “We see these expanded capabilities generate a new generation of high-speed laptops and tablets, applications around Wi-Fi 6E wireless mesh and high-quality video distribution in 8K and VR and new time-sensitive services “.
Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E also offer speeds to complement the multi-gigabit speeds of the latest fiber and DOCSIS 3.1 networks. Wi-Fi 6E can support cable replacement applications, such as point-to-point wireless trunk links and inner mesh. This basically allows Wi-Fi 6E to become a “pseudo-cable” technology that runs at Ethernet-like speeds of 1-2.5 GbE and beyond.
Wi-Fi 6E on the rise
Wi-Fi 6E technology is perfectly aligned with DOCSIS 4.0, which allows symmetrical multiple gigabit broadband speeds over hybrid fiber coaxial networks; XGS-PON, an updated standard for passive optical networks that supports 10 Gbps symmetric data transfer; and 10 GbE technology that requires robust wireless links.
However, Wi-Fi 6E only supports 6 GHz compatible devices to operate at the maximum expected efficiency. Legacy Wi-Fi devices will be limited to the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands. Traffic separation ensures the speed needed for latency-sensitive applications, such as financial trading, gaming, and real-time imaging, as well as for those who are hungry for bandwidth, such as virtual reality and augmented reality.
Therefore, the merits of Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax justify an upgrade of the technology as soon as possible. A Wi-Fi 6 (AP) access point can serve new Wi-Fi 6 devices, as well as Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) and Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) devices.
As consumer electronics customers consume WiE-Fi 6E solutions, emerging use cases will manifest themselves in book support applications that take advantage of the 6 GHz frequency. For example, it’s about deploying the AP and the accompanying Wi-Fi 6E smart device / set-top box that comes with it to maximize 66 Gbps of wireless capacity at home.
The first 6E Wi-Fi devices will be consumer hotspots and smartphones. As consumers make their own decisions about emerging Wi-Fi 6E-enabled devices, there are ‘book support’ applications, that is, where both devices are provided at the end of a Wi-Fi connection. This will allow service providers to differentiate their connected home offerings with improved Wi-Fi performance and higher quality of service for single-family drives and MDUs, ”adds Cheevers.
On MDUs, the 6 GHz spectrum allows for an almost clean channel approximation in each apartment, allowing for multi-gigabit Wi-Fi connections in a reliable and deterministic way. For example, with the possibility of using seven 160 MHz or 14 80 MHz channels, each individual in an apartment gets a personal channel.
Similarly, in the normal single-family family unit, Wi-Fi 6E with channel capacity of up to 320 MHz will allow a multi-gigabit backbone that can modify each room to its own AP “in the room”, providing 160 MHz clean Wi-Fi – 6E Fi channel at up to 4 Gbps in each room.
Other applications include a Wi-Fi 6E-based mesh solution that offers recovery capability to directly connect 6E clients as they gradually appear and storage connected to the high-speed wireless network to generate fast backups.
In general, the connected home will increasingly depend on Wi-Fi 6E-enabled low latency, 5 GHz congestion relief, pseudocable applications, high-bandwidth applications, and applications Low power Wi-Fi. Meanwhile, problem-solving use cases such as 5 GHz MDU congestion run simultaneously with Wi-Fi Gateway 6 and deployment hotspots for consumers who aren’t ready to take advantage. of Wi-Fi 6E.
Sponsored by CommScope