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  • Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 6E – what’s new in enterprise wireless? 

    Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 6E – what’s new in enterprise wireless? 

    Date: 15.05.2023



    The IEEE 802.11ax standard, widely known as Wi-Fi 6, has been with us since 2019. Not long after, first wireless devices have been launched by vendors on the global market. But as with every technology, time has to pass before businesses gain the option to choose from a rich portfolio of competitive devices that use the new standard. 

    With web and AI technologies errupting from every corner, you might have the impression that wireless is a bit behind. Luckily, not that much. Taking into account that the number of connected devices grow at a very high pace, IEEE experts have agreed to extend the capabilities of High-Efficiency WLAN with new extra powers. That’s how Wi-Fi 6E came to life. 

    Introduction to Wi-Fi 6E 

    Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E are both wireless networking standards, with Wi-Fi 6E being a newer extension of Wi-Fi 6. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what stays the same and what’s different in the estended standard.  

    From a business perspective, Wi-Fi 6E can become a substantial performance and security enhancement. Worth considering for high-dencity and low-latency wireless environments such as autonomous warehouses, factories, and smart IoT installations. 

    How can businesses benefit from Wi-Fi 6E? 

    1. Increased bandwidth – Wi-Fi 6E provides access to a wider frequency band, which can increase the available bandwidth for data-intensive applications, such as video conferencing, file transfers, and cloud-based applications. 
    1. Higher data rates – Wi-Fi 6 (and Wi-Fi 6E) support data rates up to 10 Gbps, which translates into faster download and upload speeds for end-users 
    1. Reduced congestion – with more available bandwidth, Wi-Fi 6E can help reduce network congestion in high-density environments, resulting in faster and more reliable connectivity. 
    1. Enhanced security – Wi-Fi 6E adds support for WPA3 security, providing enhanced security features to protect sensitive business data. 
    1. Improved network efficiency – with OFDMA and MU-MIMO technology, Wi-Fi 6E can support more simultaneous connections, improving network efficiency and reducing network congestion. 
    1. Future-proofing – investing in Wi-Fi 6E technology can help businesses future-proof their networks, ensuring they are ready to support new and emerging technologies, such as augmented reality, virtual reality, and IoT devices 
    1. Better battery life – target Wake Time (TWT) conserves battery life on devices by scheduling transmissions and reducing the amount of time the device spends in an active state. 
    Wi-Fi 6E benefits

    Wi-Fi 6E vs Wi-Fi 6 – The Differences 

    Frequency bands 

    Wi-Fi 6 operates in the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands, while Wi-Fi 6E operates in the 6GHz frequency band, which is less congested and provides more available bandwidth. 

    Number of channels 

    Wi-Fi 6 has 80MHz and 160MHz channel widths, while Wi-Fi 6E adds support for 320MHz channel widths. 

    Compatibility 

    Wi-Fi 6E is backward compatible with Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 5 devices, but Wi-Fi 6 devices are not compatible with Wi-Fi 6E networks. 

    Security 

    Wi-Fi 6E adds support for WPA3 security, while Wi-Fi 6 supports both WPA2 and WPA3 security. 

    Availability 

    Wi-Fi 6E devices are relatively new, and not as widely available as Wi-Fi 6 devices. 

    Wi-Fi 6 vs Wi-Fi 6E comparison

    Summary 

    The emergence of Wi-Fi 6E has set a new benchmark for connection stability and consistency, effectively bridging the gap between wired and wireless connections. This reliability is made possible by a reduction in interference and improved efficiency, as Wi-Fi 6E devices no longer have to contend with non-6E devices in the 6-GHz spectrum. 

    It’s worth noting that the 6-GHz spectrum is exclusive to Wi-Fi 6E, and devices from Wi-Fi 1 (802.11b) through Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) are not compatible with this new technology. The back-compatibility is available in Wi-Fi 6 devices, that use 2.4GHz and 5GHz spectrum. 

    For businesses that are transitioning to a hybrid workplace model, the enhanced connectivity of Wi-Fi 6E will assist in meeting the increased network demands. Similarly, clients requiring a highly secure network can also benefit from the advantages of Wi-Fi 6E. 

    Looking for a partner to plan a robust and efficient wireless network for your office, campus or autonomous high-bay warehouse? Our experts can help you assess your needs. Talk to our wireless engineers

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    Author

    Joanna Sajkowska

    Experienced in the areas of portfolio management, communication strategy and technical content. Backed by her background in Systems Engineering and business development, Joanna puts focus on translating features into benefits and showcasing the unique values of Grandmetric products and services.

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