Wi-Fi has become a ubiquitous feature of our lives over the three decades since it was first introduced. Many advances have been made during this time, such as the successful opening up of both 2.4GHz and 5.7GHz bands for use in all Wi-Fi enabled devices. Today the Wi-FI industry is shipping over 3 billion chipsets annually, with 5 billion Wi-FI devices currently in homes around the world . The global installed device base is estimated to exceed twice the entire population of the Earth by 2022.
With 70% of data traffic on cellular mobile devices carried out by Wi-Fi, the proliferation of IoT (Internet of Things) devices, and the growth of Wi-Fi dependent services such as streaming video, our current Wi-Fi infrastructure is starting to reach its limit, especially when used in high-density environments like apartment buildings, airports and public spaces.
In April 2020, the FCC officially approved 6GHz band use in the US, allowing Wi-Fi to extend its reach further and faster onto 1200 MHz of radio spectrum. This momentous decision will triple the available spectrum, opening the door wider for broadband services and innovation far into the future. Coined Wi-Fi 6E, this historical advancement will enhance the entire wireless experience.
Wi-Fi has been recognized as a foundational technology for IoT, as well as an important feature in bringing communication networks to underserved areas, and a great contributor to national and global economies. Access to the 6GHz spectrum will enable Wi-Fi to continue delivering the vast innovations and socioeconomic benefits it is bringing to the market today.
“Opening up blocks of 6 GHz bandwidth for Wi-Fi definitely supports growth of Wi-Fi in the next decade. Many more larger-bandwidth channels can be simultaneously deployed to enable data heavy communication and back and front haul of multi-node wireless networks, and increase immunity to interference over all as a Wi-Fi system. As a side benefit, Wi-Fi signal location accuracy can significantly improve and open up paths for new applications,” said Tuncay Cil, Chief Strategy Officer of ASSIA. “ASSIA will be actively supporting standardization and commercialization of new capabilities of 6 GHz in a vendor-neutral fashion across the Wi-Fi ecosystem.”
Wi-FI 6E will serve as a complement to the upcoming release of the 5G cellular network. At a 5.9GHz to 7.1GHz range in a 1.2GHz radio spectrum, Wi-Fi 6E has access to nearly 1.5 times the amount of frequencies to transmit on the fastest 5G cellular connections (3.5GHz on 800MHz). This translates into faster data rates, triple additional spectrum and bandwidth, lower latency, and massive capacity.
Opening up blocks of 6 GHz bandwidth for Wi-Fi will continue to support the growth of Wi-Fi in decades to come. A lot more larger-bandwidth channels can be simultaneously deployed to enable data-heavy communication, as well as backhaul and fronthaul of multi-node wireless networks. There will be increased immunity to interference overall in the Wi-Fi system. This new bandwidth opens up greater location accuracy which will significantly improve and open up paths for applications. ASSIA will be actively supporting standardization and commercialization of the new 6 GHz capabilities in a vendor-neutral fashion across the Wi-Fi ecosystem.
These recent WiFi 6E enhancements, along with the promising future of a 5G cellular spectrum will be giving users a much improved range of wireless options. Despite the many challenges the world faces, we have a lot to look forward to when it comes to wireless.