Cabling expert Maguire advises on preparing for WiFi 6E

April 30, 2020
In Siemon’s Standards Informant blog, Valerie Maguire discusses the practical impact of the FCC opening up the 6-GHz band for WiFi.

After the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) allocated spectrum in the 6-GHz band for WiFi use, cabling industry expert Valerie Maguire, distinguished engineer with Siemon, authored a post on the company’s Standards Informant blog advising on the practical impact of this historic move.

“WiFi 6E is the new WiFi Alliance terminology for IEEE 802.11ax devices that are capable of operating at 6 GHz, as well as in the 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz spectra already used by WiFi 6,” she explained. “WiFi 6E devices are expected to become available quickly, as only small changes to the antennae and front ends on existing WiFi 6 devices are required,” Maguire continued.

So what are the implications for this higher-frequency, higher-speed WiFi transmission on the “backhaul” cabling infrastructure that must support it? Maguire points out, “Since the 6-GHz WiFi 6E enhancement essentially facilitates implementation of the existing WiFi 6 protocol, there’s no change to the theoretical maximum transmission rate of 9.6 Gbits/sec or the often-referenced ‘real world’ transmission rate of greater than 5 Gbits/sec for this application. As a result, there’s no change to Siemon’s recommendation that two Category 6A or higher-performing cabling drops be available at every wireless access point. This recommendation is also repeated in the recently published TIA-568.0-E Generic and TIA-568.1-E Commercial Building Telecommunications Cabling Standards.

Valerie Maguire’s post also addresses WiFi 6E in the rest of the world (as the FCC’s decision affects the U.S. only), as well as why, even though the theoretical maximum transmission speed remains unchanged as we move to WiFi 6E, in the real world users are likely to enjoy higher speed with WiFi 6E than they experience with WiFi 6.

You can read the full entry on the Standards Informant blog here.

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