There’s some big news once again in the world of wireless—and it happened pretty quickly.

In April 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) unanimously voted to open up a new, unlicensed spectrum in the 6 GHz band for wireless devices. 

Right now, many of our devices compete for space on the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands currently available for Wi-Fi connections. From Ring doorbells, wireless routers and Nest thermostats to access points and computers, these bands can become congested due to lack of bandwidth and spectrum shortage.

Opening up the 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi use means we’ll have access to clean, unused bandwidth: 6 GHz wasn’t previously allocated for unlicensed Wi-Fi use like the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands were. The only devices capable of utilizing this band will be devices equipped with the specific chips and radios needed to operate in it.

The standard that incorporates 6 GHz will be called “Wi-Fi 6E” (the “E” stands for “extended”). Here are four important things you need to know about Wi-Fi 6E and the 6 GHz band …

No. 1: It Will Offer Bandwidth, Bandwidth and More Bandwidth

Whenever too many devices attempt to connect over the same frequency band, connections start to drop. There are too many competing signals for all devices to get through simultaneously.

Wi-Fi 6E devices operating in the 6 GHz band will have access to four times the amount of bandwidth currently offered by Wi-Fi (in both the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands). This leaves us with massive amounts of bandwidth: 1,200 MHz of additional bandwidth, to be exact.

There won’t be any legacy devices to support, either. The devices operating in this new 6 GHz band won’t have to compete against all the other IoT devices currently in use. There will be more open airwaves to broadcast Wi-Fi signals to Wi-Fi 6E-specific devices.

No. 2: It Will Optimize 802.11ax Technology

As an extension of Wi-Fi 6 (IEEE 802.11ax), Wi-Fi 6E devices and networks will help us make the most of this wireless standard. Because it was released in late 2019, IEEE 802.11ax hasn’t yet reached its full potential.

And, unlike previous Wi-Fi standards, Wi-Fi 6E connects on 802.11ax technology without needing to go back to support older versions of wireless technology, like 802.11af.

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No. 3: It’s Best Suited for Close-Range Connections

Wi-Fi 6E is most appropriate for close-range connections between devices located in the same space. In these types of situations, devices will be able to share large amounts of data back and forth with the full efficiency of Wi-Fi 6: faster speeds, lower latency and higher capacity.

Stadiums, arenas and other entertainment venues are good examples. In these dense, congested environments, tens (or hundreds) of thousands of fans will be able to easily use apps, live stream and communicate with people inside and outside the venue without noticing any delays or dropped connections.

Augmented reality, virtual reality and gaming (such as Esports) are also expected to benefit greatly from Wi-Fi 6E.

No. 4: New Devices Will Be Necessary

Whether we’re talking routers, phones, laptops or wireless access points, in order to take advantage of Wi-Fi 6E, you'll need devices equipped with chipsets built to send signals in the 6GHz band.

Cabling to Support Wi-Fi 6E

Now that we have clean, new spectrum to work with – and we can maximize IEEE 802.11ax technology – backhaul speeds can be as high as 9.6 Gb/s. So how can you ensure excellent in-building wireless performance? Use a cable specifically designed to support it.

Combining the Category 6A performance you need with the Belden quality and reliability you expect, our REVConnect 10GXW System offers best-in-class noise immunity with 4 dB of PSANEXT and 10 dB of PSAACRF headroom. This level of performance eliminates slow network speeds and maximizes uptime in wireless environments.

The end-to-end system consists of the smallest, lightest horizontal Category 6A cable available, as well as REVConnect Connectivity, which utilizes a single termination process for all components.

The most reliable networks require category 6a cable