Slow Internet speeds? The new Wi-Fi 6E (802.11ax) 6GHz band with a 1200MHz spectrum is coming soon
The way you access the Internet is going to change in a couple of months. Right now we are using Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) which operates on two frequency bands 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Some countries also use Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) with similar frequency bands. The Wi-Fi 5 Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) standard was implemented in 2014 and the Wi‑Fi 4 (802.11n) was implemented in 2009. Now 5 years after the 5 GHz band 802.11 ac has been exhaustively used by netizens, the United States federated body, Federal Communications Commission led by Ajit Pai has now accepted the new Wi-Fi standard with 6GHz band and 1200 MHz spectrum.
The Wi-Fi 4 has been around for 20 years and the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) has been around for 5 years. Internet usage has exploded since the Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) routers with two bands were first made available. With the Internet connection charges lowering thanks to the smartphone boom and the race for providing the fastest Internet, the world Internet connections have reached stagnation. Right now if you have a broadband connection, even when using the dual-band or 5GHz band, you are prone to slow speeds and inconsistent connections. Hopefully, with the introduction of the new Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) routers, you will be able to surf the Internet at 6GHz band and 1200 MHz spectrum seamlessly.
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) standard means there are now more open airwaves – a full spectrum – that routers can use to send and receive signals. With the FCC approval, the Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) will be open for business once the 1200 MHz is opened by different governments around the world. This should take a year.
“Ensuring necessary unlicensed spectrum access is critical for Wi-Fi – which now more than ever – keeps us connected, supports our communications infrastructure, and delivers major economic benefits,” said the Wi-Fi Alliance said in a statement. “Wi-Fi Alliance and its members are ready to deliver new 6 GHz use cases and urge the commission to support the chairman’s proposal.”
Those outside the U.S. may argue that the FCC is a U.S. body and how can it’s approval mean a new Wi-Fi bandwidth for them. Generally, regulatory authorities all over the world follow the FCC in the allocation of bandwidth. So naturally, now that Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) is approved, the telecom regulatory bodies all over the world will implement the new bandwidth. The 1200 MHz spectrum is already being sold for 5G technology around the world. Once the new spectrum is officially opened for business later this year, that should translate to faster, more reliable connections from the next generation of devices.
This is the biggest spectrum addition since the FCC cleared the way for Wi-Fi in 1989, so it’s a huge deal. The new spectrum basically quadruples the amount of space available for routers and other devices. The new spectrum also means a lot more bandwidth and a lot less interference for any device that can take advantage of it(till it is stagnated).
What is new with Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) Wi-Fi Router?
The current Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) Wi-Fi routers operated at 2.4GHz with a maximum bandwidth of 40MHz per channel. Wi-Fi 4 (802.11n) had only a total of 11 channels available. Some of you have the 5 band Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) which operates at 5GHz and uses more channels at 80MHz. Some Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) use 160MHz. Since the Internet explosion world over, we are using more and more Wi-Fi devices, the 5GHz has got clogged not allowing the optimum speeds.
The issue was exacerbated due to spectrum congestion. With too many Wi-Fi networks, signals tend to interfere with each other. This causes slow speeds, connection drops, or inconsistent download speeds.
Wi‑Fi 6 (802.11ax) Wi-Fi Router a Saviour!
The new Wi-Fi 6 which could solve all such problems. The 802.11ax standard is designed to operate in all ISM bands between 1 and 6 GHz when they become available for 802.11 use. This means that your new Wi-Fi 6 routers will have a whopping 21 additional channels – 14 additional 80 MHz channels and 7 additional 160 MHz channels. Also, these channels won’t interfere with each other, which means no connection drops and consistent download speeds.
Also, the new Wi-Fi 6 5GHz frequency band can download files at a whopping speed of 9.6Gbps under test conditions. So we can expect download speeds to average at 1GB in a couple of years.
When will Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) Wi-Fi Router be available?
Expected date: By 2022.
First, the governments around the world have to auction the 1200 MHz spectrum for commercial use. After that, the technical work includes converting the current towers to handle the new spectrum band. Till that time, the Wi-Fi manufacturers should start manufacturing Wi-Fi 6E routers. You will also need routers, laptops, PCs, smartphones, and the Internet of Things with the new 802.11ax radio. Both the routers and compatible devices will start rolling out before the end of this year.
By the year 2022, we could all be surfing the Internet at 1GB speeds.