In April, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced plans to open up 1,200 MHz in the 6 GHz band – the biggest WiFi spectrum addition in two decades, referred to by industry insiders as WiFi 6E.
The expansion spells big things for users, who can expect improved speed and reliability once bandwidth is no longer in short supply (currently, WiFi is limited to the 2.4 and 5GHz bands). Imagine a new highway that takes the load off of existing roads, letting you arrive at your destination in a fraction of the time. That’s the promise of 6E.
Velaspan had been closely following the progress of 6GHz WiFi and when it was finally approved, there was some serious Zoom rejoicing. The addition of 6GHz means a greater return on investment for Velaspan clients, who often face off against limited bandwidth despite top-tier WiFi hardware and design. 59 new 20 MHz channels opens up possibilities to leverage channel bonding for more throughput in higher density environments.
News of 6E has reached many of our clients and prospective clients, too. Unsurprisingly, Velaspan has begun fielding questions– namely, how can we tap into 6E, and when? Here’s what organizations need to know about WiFi’s newest frontier:
It’s going to be a little while. The 6GHz band opens in late 2020, but there’s no clear timeline for 6E-compatible enterprise hardware and consumer devices. Consumer devices usually debut first – so companies whose customers bring their own devices (think stadiums and public venues) might be most inclined to adopt 6E quickly. But don’t assume that it’s best to halt WiFi upgrades or deployment plans in efforts to wait for 6E. There can be unforeseen drawbacks to early adoption, as early product releases from vendors are often entry level products with more robust flagship products following later.
Upgrading to 6E will require hardware enhancements. No enterprise hardware vendors currently offer a 6GHz-capable solution. Organizations looking to tap into the new 6GHz band will need new hardware – namely, WiFi access points and radios whose earliest availability, again, remains unknown.
Still, you can get excited. Tomorrow’s WiFi access promises to move fast, and there’s a strategy for determining when it’s time to harness it. Velaspan can help you determine whether to start acting today or wait a little longer.
Reach out to us to set up a 30 minute consultation.