Technology evolves at an incredible rate, it seems like just yesterday that I was stunned at running the Internet on my laptop wirelessly. Now we’ve seen multiple evolutions of the wireless protocols from 802.11 b which was frankly rather slow. Through to 802.11g/n/ac and now 802.11ax or “Wi-Fi 6” and soon it seems, Wi-Fi 6E.
There’s a number of significant benefits to Wi-Fi 6E which operates in the 6GHz, starting with the bands being separate from the existing protocols. If you’re in a densely populated area, perhaps an apartment block you’ll know the pain of the Wi-Fi congestion.
The FCC has opened up 1,200MHz for “unlicensed use” in the 6GHz range. This means that you as a user do not need to purchase a licence for the specific bandwidth you’re using — this is how UHF radios and existing Wi-Fi devices are allowed to operate. What this means is that in that spectrum there will be more channels available that do not overlap, causing interference and degradation of signal strength and speed, allowing better results for all users in a congested area.
The changes in broadcast range will also have some effect on signal strength through homes and businesses. This will put increasing importance on technology such as mesh Wi-Fi systems which operate by linking nodes on a backhaul, then broadcasting signal to devices separately.
The changes will come into effect in the USA very soon but will need to pass muster for use in Australia. The long-reaching effects of Wi-Fi changes over time will continue to build, with already immeasurable effects on our daily life. If you’re not convinced: think about how many devices are connected wirelessly in your home and how you’d manage without that technology.
How heavy is your reliance upon Wi-Fi for daily life?