What is Wi-Fi 6E?

What is Wi-Fi 6E?

Introduced by Wi-Fi Alliance, Wi-Fi 6E is the upcoming standard for an extension of Wi-Fi 6 (also known as 802.11ax), enabling the operation of features in the unlicensed 6 GHz band, in addition to the currently supported 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands.

With an additional 1200 MHz of spectrum available for use in the 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi applications, Wi-Fi 6E devices will operate in 14 additional 80 MHz channels and 7 additional 160 MHz channels. This broader spectrum simplifies network design and deliver ultimate Wi-Fi performance with higher throughput and wider channels, while eliminating the need to support legacy devices, resulting in less network congestion.

Making use of this extended spectrum capacity in 6 GHz brings the promising outlook of continued innovation across Wi-Fi user experience and connected devices. The Wi-Fi 6E standard further improves the 802.11ax network user experience with faster and more reliable Wi-Fi networks that are designed for soaring device densities and high-bandwidth applications such as video streaming, videoconferencing, and voice calls.

Improving User Experience with Wi-Fi 6E

With the growing demand to connect more devices to the network, Wi-Fi 6E will enable enterprises and service providers to support new and emerging applications and keep each connected device performing at an optimum level.

The introduction of Wi-Fi 6E addresses Wi-Fi spectrum shortage issues by providing additional and contiguous channel bandwidth, supporting an ever-growing number of devices at unprecedented speeds. The added 1200 MHz in the 6 GHz band will enable enterprises to deliver faster, more reliable enterprise Wi-Fi networks. These networks will be highly scalable and resilient, with simplified architectures, improving their ability to support more users at multigigabit speeds—even in very congested environments with many mobile and IoT devices.

Wi-Fi 6E further increases the network capacity and efficiency for demanding and mission-critical applications that require higher throughput, such as enterprise video streaming and video conference. The initial generation of Wi-Fi 6E chipsets is now available for vendors to start the development of both access points and mobile devices. Wi-Fi 6E products will be available in the next two years. As client devices (which often lag chipset development) become more widely available, organizations whose requirements go beyond the reach of 802.11ax are likely to initiate migration projects.


How Does Wi-Fi 6E Work?

Wi-Fi 6E provides all the features and capabilities of 802.11ax, but it does so by operating in the 6 GHz band. 802.11ax goes beyond boosting network speed and combines innovative technologies to improve overall network performance when connecting a large number of devices running high-bandwidth, low-latency applications.

Wi-Fi 6E networks will provide increased capacity by operating on the 6 GHz band with 14 additional 80 MHz channels and 7 additional 160 MHz channels, while leveraging these existing 802.11ax features:

  • 8x8 uplink/downlink MU-MIMO, OFDMA, and BSS Color to provide up to four times more capacity to handle more devices.
  • Target wake time (TWT) to improve network efficiency and device battery life, including that of IoT devices.
  • 1024 quadrature amplitude modulation mode (1024-QAM) to increase throughput for emerging, bandwidth-intensive uses by transmitting more data in the same amount of spectrum.


Realizing the Benefits of Multigigabit Ethernet

Juniper is committed to delivering innovative and high-performance products that will allow enterprises and service providers to realize the full potential of Wi-Fi 6E innovations.

With the support of an additional 1.2 GHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band, Wi-Fi 6E will drive up the access point uplink requirements and require multigigabit Ethernet (802.3bz) connectivity to the access layer switching infrastructure.

Juniper Networks EX Series Ethernet Switches, a family of high-performance access switches that support 802.3bz (multigigabit Ethernet), can address these soaring bandwidth needs. To help enterprises deliver great end-to-end user and IoT experiences, these switches also work with the complementary Mist Wired Assurance service, which uses AI and data science for actionable insights and self-driving network capabilities.

As enterprise companies prepare to roll out Wi-Fi 6 access points today or plan future upgrades to Wi-Fi 6E for their access switching, they should make sure that their solution has the capability to support 802.3bz connections at 2.5GBASE-T or 5GBASE-T speeds.