WLAN becomes faster and more stable! 6 GHz band released

Surfing via WLAN is now faster and, above all, more stable. The Federal Network Agency has released the 6 GHz frequency band for connections. Who particularly benefits from this and why new hardware is necessary is explained by atechbook.

WLAN over 6 GHz is also called Wi-Fi 6E. Here, users no longer transmit via the frequency ranges previously used around 2.5 GHz or 5 GHz, which are sometimes very busy, especially in houses with many apartments and correspondingly many individual networks. The advantage of opening up the new frequency range is that the various WLAN networks now slow each other down and interfere less.

WLAN designation has become simpler

Back in 2018, the Wi-Fi Alliance announced that it would simplify WLAN designations in the future. Instead of using terms like WLAN a/b/g/n/ac or even ax, the standards are now numbered. This makes it easier for users to distinguish between them. WLAN IEEE 802.11n thus became Wi-Fi 4, its successor IEEE 802.11ac is called Wi-Fi 5, while the new IEEE 802.11ax is known as Wi-Fi 6. However, there is a special feature here: Wi-Fi 6 continues to use only the already familiar 2.4 and 5 GHz frequency bands. However, with the help of newly introduced technology enhancements such as MIMO-OFDMA (“Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiple Access”), it offers higher transmission speeds than previous standards. OFDMA enables WLAN devices to detect disturbed spectrum within a channel and switch to another channel accordingly.

What is Wi-Fi 6 and do I need it right now?

Wi-Fi 6E is a different case again, because here users additionally have the now released frequency range around 6 GHz at their disposal. And it brings a whole range of advantages.

Advantages of WLAN connections in the 6 GHz band

Wi-Fi 6E over 6 GHz makes WLAN connections much more stable than before. For one thing, there are far fewer interference factors in this band, since the available spectrum for WLAN has been almost doubled and hardly any devices are on the move here. Secondly, the data throughput increases enormously and the latency times are significantly reduced. The new WLAN standard is therefore ideal for applications such as gaming and augmented reality. The new frequency also ensures that the high speeds on the Internet can be better used by end customers, according to a Vodafone spokesperson. Up to 1201 Mbit/s (megabits per second) per antenna stream are possible. If a router supports multiple streams, the speed increases accordingly.

Specifically, the 6 GHz band released by the BNetzA covers the frequencies from 5945 to 6425 MHz. However, there are some conditions attached to the use of Wi-Fi 6E.

Wi-Fi 6E requires new hardware

Users need new hardware to use Wi-Fi 6E on the 6 GHz band. The routers with WLAN 6 or WLAN ax that have been launched on the market by AVM, Netgear or Asus, for example, do not support the new standard. They are still intended for the WLAN 6 connections in the extended 5 GHz band described above. The same applies to smartphones and tablets that come with Wi-Fi 6 or WLAN ax. In Germany, however, there is no router or other end devices that support Wi-Fi 6E at this point. The first products are expected next year.

Away from the devices that are not yet available, Wi-Fi 6E has another limitation. The higher the frequency bands become, the more difficult it will be for radio beams to penetrate walls. Accordingly, the signal from Wi-Fi 6E connections is attenuated more by doors and walls than Wi-Fi 5 or even 4. The result is a shorter radio range.