Wi-Fi 6 is fairly common these days, and many mid-budget devices are adopting this connectivity tech. However, some companies have also started promoting Wi-Fi 6E on their high-end smartphones and laptops just a year after its introduction. Similarly, some rumoured devices such as Apple’s iPhone 14 and their ‘next big thing’ AR Headset may also leverage this connectivity technology. In case you’re wondering what the benefits of Wi-Fi 6E are and how it works, here’s what you need to know.
What is Wi-Fi 6, how’s it different from Wi-Fi 6E
Wi-Fi 6 was introduced to solve overcrowding of original bands for more stable and faster internet connectivity. Also known as 802.11ax, it builds on the strengths of 802.11ac (Wi-Fi 5) while adding efficiency, flexibility, and scalability. To put it simply, if you have a Wi-Fi connection that promises high speeds but the Wi-Fi router only supports a single band, that is, 2.4GHz range, you won’t experience a faster and reliable internet connection. It is because almost everyone around you is using the same frequency Wi-Fi connection. The congestion of networks will hamper the overall experience. Similarly, many households now have additional smart devices beyond phones and laptops (or multiple phones and laptops) that also post a demand for something more reliable.
In that case, Wi-Fi 6E aims to solve this by not only offering higher speeds but a more reliable connection. Wi-Fi 6E, on the other hand, is simply an extension of Wi-Fi 6 with support for more bands and is free of congestion. It adds 14 more 80MHz channels and seven 160GHz channels required for high-bandwidth applications for best performance (8K video rendering or virtual reality).
Benefits of Wi-Fi 6E
To enjoy the benefits, you’d require a Wi-Fi 6E certified router bearing the badge - “Wi-Fi Certified 6: World Wi-Fi 6E interoperability." It will also give you the option to choose between 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz, which will work better in congested areas with too many Wi-Fi-enabled devices. In terms of specifications, both 5GHz and 6GHz offer the same top speeds of 9.6GHz, but the chances of getting that speed is very unlikely. However, if you can get half-decent speeds with a decent router, chances are the one with Wi-Fi 6E support will offer a uniform performance across devices.
Use cases of faster internet are unlimited as everything around us continues to get “smarter." From 8K video streaming that will likely reach many OTT platforms soon to virtual reality thanks to the development of the metaverse, Wi-Fi 6E may soon become a thing of the past as well. But the challenges also pertain to de-licensing the 6GHz band. As reported by The Financial Express, TRAI has seemingly opposed delicensing more spectrums. The agency believes the already delicensed (in 2.4 and 5 GHz bands) in the country are underutilised. However, many mobile operators are pushing for auctioning 6GHz, and the reality may not be not far away.
Why Wi-Fi 6E will take time to reach you
While the benefits of Wi-Fi 6E are immense to get superior Wi-Fi internet connectivity, the biggest issue is that there are not many compatible routers out there in the market. So, you will have to wait a bit to get your hands on the latest Wi-Fi 6E models. Another issue is that, in India, most broadband or fibre internet subscribers mostly stick to the router that is given by their ISP. To get the most from your ISP, it is recommended that you connect with the customer support to upgrade your modem depending on availability.