What is 6GHz Wifi?

So you’re noticing frequent fluctuations in your Wifi and slow internet speed, and you decide to turn the Wifi on and off again. When you go to reconnect the Wifi to your phone, you see your network name pop up along with many others belonging to your neighbours. Your first thought might be “wow, they have a pretty impressive Wifi coverage!”. However, you might be less impressed once you discover that if their networks are popping up within your range, your signals are likely interfering with each other – leading to the dreaded Wifi interference.

Wifi interference may cause issues such as being unable to pair Bluetooth devices properly, slow performance on one device when another is being used, decreased download and upload speeds and more.

It’s no wonder that many Wifi devices don’t meet their advertised speeds and latency. Many of our Wi-Fi-enabled electronic devices occupy the same frequency bands, and most of the Wifi traffic today is crowded into the 2.4 GHz and 5GHz bands.

Luckily, this issue won’t last long. The Federal Communications Commission proposed rules to open up the brand new 6GHz band for unlicensed use. What does this mean for the IoT industry, customers and the Wifi Alliance? Only good things.

The 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands

The 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands are the predecessors to the 6GHz band. Many of us currently use Wifi routers with these two frequency bands.

As the name suggests, single-band routers utilize one of the two available bands, 2.4 GHz. Outdated single-band routers operate on one frequency band, the 2.4GHz one, and cap data speeds at 54 Mbps. Such speeds were also used in iPhone 3G and 3Gs. The 2.4GHz frequency band is also the most common frequency band used for wireless networks, Wi-Fi networks, cordless phones, smartphones, and other wireless devices. The rest of the frequency spectrum is used for radio, radar, and other purposes.

The 5GHz frequency band is a major upgrade from the 2.4GHz band, as it allows for more Wifi traffic, less interference, and higher maximum speeds. This makes it highly suitable for streaming videos, gaming, and other high-bandwidth activities. The 5GHz band also has more spectrum than the 2.4GHz band and offers more room for networks to expand. This is especially important in densely populated areas, such as cities, where the demand for the Internet is high.

What is the 6GHz band?

Technically, the 6GHz band refers to the frequency band between 5.925 GHz and 7.125 GHz. Compared to its predecessors, the 6GHz band has the widest frequency range of 1200 MHz and the most channels among the three bands. The 6GHz band also boasts the property of non-interference, good continuity, and operational flexibility, making it the winner of all existing frequency bands. And we have the recent boom of Wifi and IoT devices to thank for the introduction of the 6GHz band.

With such a heavy load on Wifi networks nowadays – practically everything is connected to the Wifi – introducing the new 6GHz band was not only necessary but urgently needed.

How will the 6GHz band benefit Wifi?

The new wireless spectrum band was auctioned off last year, potentially giving Wifi a boost in speed and range. Here are a couple of ways how the 6GHz band will benefit your Wifi connection.

higher speeds, shorter range

The 6GHz band offers a significantly higher operating frequency, data rate and transmission than previous bands as expected. However, 6GHz Wifi may have a shorter range as wireless signals with higher frequencies decrease in range, especially through obstacles. Thus, as a result, 6GHz might suit short-range and low latency applications that are prevalent today, such as video streaming, IoT and VR/AR.

Precise positioning

The 6GHz band is the widest frequency band so far for Wifi devices; hence, it also boasts the most precise positioning. This is a major advantage for many trending smart home products featuring indoor positioning, such as sweeping robots.

Less interference

One of the most significant improvements with 6GHz Wifi is the lack of interference between devices. Legacy devices based on any standard before Wifi 6 are excluded from this band. Therefore, if your device operates on the 6GHz band, it would be the only device on the band, making it free from any contention with other devices. The boost in performance will definitely be a major game-changer.