Wi-Fi 6E and the Connected Home


Author: Charles Cheevers Chief Technology Officer, Home Network Solutions, at CommScope

Wi-Fi is vital to our daily lives. It’s what connects us to the Internet. It enables our busy digital lives and drives the on-line economy. It allows us to work, learn, and be entertained in our homes.

In these extreme times of COVID-19, we are seeing the increasing importance of always-on high-bandwidth, reliable and accessible connectivity.

On April 23, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules that make 1,200 megahertz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band (5.925–7.125 GHz) available for unlicensed use. These new rules are a once in a generation increase in Wi-Fi resource, providing a congestion-free environment and the capacity to use wider channels to deliver higher speeds for all connected Americans. The use of the latest Wi-Fi 6 standard will be extended to this band (hence Wi-Fi 6E) to deliver the optimum Wi-Fi performance, even in high-density environments.

With access to high bandwidth and low latency services, this will help power the U.S. economy by enabling enhanced remote work capability, entertainment, health management, eLearning and drive innovation in many other wireless connected applications.

Now that we can use Wi-Fi 6 in 6 GHz what are the use cases and features that make sense for service providers to take immediate advantage of this new spectrum? As consumers make their own choices on emerging Wi-Fi 6E enabled devices, there are “bookend” applications, i.e. where both devices as the end of a Wi-Fi connection are provided that will allow service providers to differentiate their connected home offerings with improved Wi-Fi performance and higher quality of service for single-family units and MDUs.

The allocation of the 6GHz band to Wi-Fi is truly a historic moment in connectivity and will impact the world for decades to come. Following the FCC’s announcement, I joined FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and other industry leaders during the Wi-Fi NOW’s special webinar on Wi-Fi 6E where we discussed use cases. In my presentation, I highlighted what Wi-Fi 6E will mean for the connected home and propose what we in CommScope believe are the main use cases for driving Wi-Fi 6E adoption either by operator-provided applications or in retail where bookend solutions are sold. To view my presentation, click here.

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