The new wave of Wi-Fi 6E technology is here. Not only will it introduce another generation of evolution in connectivity, but also a number of features and abilities that are simply not possible with the current standard.
But are people ready? And more importantly, is our infrastructure? We’ll discuss those questions and more in this article.
6E, otherwise known as Wi-Fi 6 or 802.11ax, is the newest generation of WLAN technology. It is designed to improve upon the previous generations in several ways, most notably by increasing capacity and efficiency in dense environments.
6E makes use of a number of new technologies, including the following:
- Multi-user MIMO (MU-MIMO) – This allows multiple devices to be served simultaneously, increasing capacity.
- Orthogonal frequency-division multiple access (OFDMA) – This increases efficiency by allowing each user to be assigned a portion of the spectrum.
- Target wake time (TWT) – This reduces power consumption by allowing devices to sleep for periods of time and only wake up when they need to communicate.
- 1024-QAM – This increases data rates by using more complex modulation.
The Benefits of 6E
There are a number of benefits that 6E promises to bring. Firstly, it is designed to be more efficient in dense environments. This means that it will be able to serve more devices in the same amount of time, without sacrificing performance.
6E is also designed to be more power-efficient, thanks to the use of TWT. This will be especially beneficial for battery-powered devices, such as laptops and smartphones.
6E also promises to offer higher data rates than its predecessors. This is thanks to the use of 1024-QAM, which allows for more data to be encoded in each symbol.
Are We Ready for 6E? – The Challenges of Adoption
While there are many benefits to 6E, there are also a number of challenges that need to be overcome before it can be widely adopted. Here are just a few of the most noteworthy and unique sets of problems they present.
Lack of 6E Devices
One of the biggest challenges facing 6E is the lack of devices that are compatible with the new standard. While some manufacturers are already planning to release 6E products, the majority of devices on the market are still Wi-Fi 5. This means that there will need to be a significant
Ability to Scale With Bandwidth Requirements
6E is designed to be more efficient in dense environments, but this also means that it will require more bandwidth than previous generations. This could present a challenge for service providers, who will need to ensure that they have enough bandwidth available to support 6E users.
Just like every other emerging technology, Wi-Fi 6E’s adoption has the potential to create new cybersecurity risks. One such risk is the possibility of new attacks that exploit vulnerabilities in 6E-enabled devices. Another risk is the potential for malicious actors to use 6E to eavesdrop on users or initiate Denial-of-Service attacks.
Trust and Investment
One of the challenges that Wi-Fi 6E faces is trust. In order for people to invest in upgrading their infrastructure, they need to be confident that Wi-Fi 6E will be worth the investment.
This is a chicken and egg problem, as people are unlikely to invest in Wi-Fi 6E unless there is widespread adoption, but adoption is unlikely to happen unless people are willing to invest in it.
While 6E technology certainly offers many benefits, they aren’t all tangible. Well, at least not yet. Its widespread adoption will largely depend on the industry’s ability to surmount some pretty significant challenges. But if it can, we could see a whole new world of connected devices and higher speeds. Are you ready for 6E?
If you have networking projects or need to get ready for the future of 6E, reach out. We’re partnered with all of the major players in networking and would be happy to assist you.