What does WiFi 6E mean for future generations?
The FCC recently agreed to open up an additional 1.2GHz of spectrum to use for unlicensed WiFi. Referred to as WiFi 6E (E for extended), it is expected to add billions to the worldwide economy by 2025. More importantly, though, is how it will benefit heavy WiFi consumers.
“Specifically, this will be advantageous for the future generation. Teenagers are hyper-connected – to put it mildly. They spend an enormous amount of time connected to the Internet. They do their homework (approximately two-three hours a week), work on projects (approximately two-three hours a week), listen to music (approximately two-three hours a week) – all on the Internet. Additionally, in the current work-and-play-at-home scenario, they use Zoom video conferences for dance or fitness classes (nine hours a week), extra school classes (four hours a week). Finally, of course, they consume quite a few hours of entertainment a week. It’s like their lives revolve around the Internet,” said Tobie van Schalkwyk, product manager for Netgear at Duxbury Networking.
So, while the last time WiFi spectrum expanded almost 20 years ago with 5GHz, the scale of this expansion is enormous – a full additional 1.2GHz in 6GHz, which is almost three times the amount of spectrum we have available today.
“It’s like constructing a new, wider freeway by looking at today’s congestion and anticipating future traffic growth. Such bandwidth can unlock many more potential applications. Of course, it’s clearly going to take some time for this final vision to come to fruition. But we are excited that we are taking the right steps to unleash next-generation potential for the next generation of consumers. And yes, it may take another 10 years before 6GHz WiFi becomes ubiquitous – but you have to start somewhere. So, while 2020 may be remembered for years to come as the one that disrupted lives due to COVID-19, our hope is we also talk about 2020 as the year of positive impact on lives, due to WiFi 6E,” said Van Schalkwyk.