FCC decides to upgrade Wi-Fi to 6GHz band after 20 years

Federal Communication Commission unanimously decided to upgrade Wi-Fi to 6GHz band. 1,200MHz of new bandwidth for Wi-Fi 6E devices are expected to begin arriving this year.

With the ongoing pandemic, online activity continues to surge. Millions of people around the world rely on internet connectivity as they consume news and entertainment from home.

In addition to that, social distancing directives forced people to work and study online. Hence, a solid and reliable internet connection is regarded as the paramount necessity in this time of isolation.

Fortunately, in a few months from now, there will be a lot more Wi-Fi to go around.

A new Wi-Fi lane to cope with increasing Wi-Fi demand

The Federal Communications Commission voted to expand WiFi to 6GHz band for unlicensed use. Specifically, they will open up 1,200MHz of spectrum in the 6GHz band.

The FCC went on to call the move a benefit to consumers, and one that will further their leadership in next-generation wireless technologies, including 5G.

This is considerably the assembly’s boldest initiative in response to increasing Wi-Fi demand.

How will 6GHz Wi-Fi improve internet connectivity

For the past two decades, Wi-Fi has been operating with roughly 400Mhz of the spectrum. All channels in both the 2.4GHz and 5GHz band had to be split up within that limited space.

With the release of the new plot of the spectrum, the total space available for traditional Wi-Fi will quadruple. This means that there will be more open airwaves that routers can use to broadcast Wi-Fi signals.

However, devices equipped with 6GHz Wi-Fi will have more advantage than those who use other bands. At 6GHZ Wi-Fi, people are going to be living large as far as connectivity goes because only a few will be competing with them.

When will Wi-Fi 6E devices hit stores

According to the marketing leader of Wi-Fi alliance, the first wave of devices using 6GHz Wi-Fi, known also as Wi-Fi 6E, is expected in the final quarter of 2020. The deployment should kick-off when the Wi-Fi Alliance begins offering certification programs for Wi-Fi 6E devices.

Several manufacturers have already prepared for this moment. The chipmaker Broadcom has recently announced a Wi-Fi 6E mobile chip. Meanwhile, two major router companies, Linksys and Netgear, have signalled that they are on board.

Also, Apple stated that the FCC’s approval of the 6GHZ Wi-Fi sets the course for the next generation of Wi-Fi networks hinting support to Wi-Fi 6E.

Reportedly, smartphones are likely to be the first consumer devices to adopt Wi-Fi 6E. After smartphones, tables will follow, with adoption in TVs likely in 2022.

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