Whether for customers, clients, or employees, the importance of consistently strong wireless connectivity within a business is arguably the most paramount factor to continued growth and success. From an increased reliance on remote client calls to the uptake of VoIP technology and frequent security updates, the standards and expectations of wireless network connectivity have only continued to expand.
To meet the demands of this network data usage, the Wi-Fi Alliance introduced a new Wi-Fi standard in 2020 called Wi-Fi 6E – an update to the previous Wi-Fi 6 standard and a simplified name for wireless networking protocols based upon the IEEE 802.11 AX standard. These have gradually become integrated into new wireless routers and access points in addition to our different connecting devices. Wi-Fi 6E highlighted an important technological update in wireless connective capabilities in high-traffic environments, making it very useful for business settings. Wireless Network solution vendors like Cambium Networks have built on this technology and continued to innovate the way in which businesses connect and communicate with their Wi-Fi network.
With this said many businesses have yet to upgrade their wireless networks and devices from Wi-Fi 5. So should you upgrade your business’s network devices to the technology? And is Wi-Fi 6E a noteworthy improvement over its predecessor?
Increased Device Efficiency
With more and more smart devices connecting to a single network, one key advantage of Wi-Fi 6E connectivity is its increased ability to efficiently prioritize data allocation across all devices as opposed to 1 or 2. This is achieved through a process called orthogonal frequency division multiple access (OFDMA). Essentially, this allows network frequency channels to be split into smaller sub-divided channels and allows a single frequency channel to be used to communicate with multiple devices. Data is instead shared across the network without individual devices having to wait in the ‘network Queue’. This not only results in more efficient frequency use and device management but also ensures reduced latency across the network.
Additionally, Wi-Fi 6E improves device management through its inclusion of 8X8 Multi-User- Multi Input Multi Output (MU-MIMO) – the technology that enables Wi-Fi routers to serve the requirements of multiple devices at the same time. This supports 8 user channels for uploads and download processes, ensuring that in large business settings, these processes can occur concurrently without impacting the overall download/upload speed. This enables effective multi-gigabit low-latency connections and is especially fundamental to supporting 5G services and infrastructure going forward.
For businesses looking to improve their network efficiency in more dense and populated areas, consider the Cambium Networks XV2-2 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point. In addition to offering Wi-Fi 6 technology, it is capable of transmitting on dual frequency bands simultaneously and connectivity can easily be managed through Cambium’s cnMaestro cloud platform. This makes it the perfect choice for businesses that operate in high-traffic environments like airports and hospitality settings.
Wi-Fi 6E Device Compatibility
Another key benefit of Wi-Fi 6E is simply the accessibility and compatibility of the wireless technology in current smart connecting devices. Indeed whether it be phone, laptop, or desktop devices, Wi-fi 6 is now supported as the standard. What’s more, Wi-Fi 6 and 6E routers are fully compatible with older Wi-Fi 5 devices – although these devices won’t receive the 6GHz channel benefits of Wi-Fi 6E or any of the benefits of Wi-Fi 6. Indeed for public-facing industries like retail, this backward compatibility is massively advantageous. Not only does it allow customers with newer devices to fully realize the benefits of the wireless technology, but it also enables those with older devices to still connect to the network, offering the best of both. This is fully reinforced by market statistics from the non-profit group Wi-Fi Alliance that suggest customers have a 47% increased likelihood of continuing to shop at a store offering a seamless Wi-Fi experience.
Backward compatibility also makes the process of switching to Wi-Fi 6E network connectivity far more seamless for businesses looking to upgrade. Instead of being forced to upgrade the network as well as every device at once, they can choose when to upgrade each device, minimizing the potential for compatibility issues.
Improvements in the technical qualities of media like images and videos consumed on the web have greatly increased the sizes of these files during the search and temporary download process. This has driven an increasingly greater strain on older Wi-Fi 5 devices and routers leading to slow internet speeds and therefore lower workplace productivity. While Wi-Fi 6E was primarily built with the goal of increased consistency and performance in high-traffic settings, it also boasts a much faster throughput compared to its predecessor. This is because Wi-Fi 6E devices are compatible with a new 6 GHz band compatibility that expands the number of channels that can operate on the device frequency. The 6 GHz frequency of Wi-Fi 6E has the advantage of increased bandwidth, much quicker speeds – up to 25% faster, – and lower latency. This creates a much smoother and less frustrating experience for all the network users.
One such example of this is Cambium Networks XV3-8 Wi-Fi 6 Access Point system. In addition to allowing network controllers to configure their system to accommodate both 2.4GHZ and 5GHZ network requirements, it also boasts a much greater 1024 Quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM) signal. This enables Wi-Fi signals to transmit an increasing number of bits per hertz compared to Wi-Fi 5 signals making for much more optimized client, customer, or employee network usage.
With faster speeds, increased network efficiency, compatibility, security, and much more, it is clear that a Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E network greatly outperforms the limited capabilities of Wi-Fi 5. This is especially true for large businesses and enterprises that supply a large number of users as the Wi-Fi 6E wireless networking protocols are primarily targeted to provide a fast and consistent connection for all devices within a high-traffic environment.
Choosing the most efficient Wi-Fi 6E access point is increasingly becoming a fundamental investment for a business. With network access expected by consumers and required by employees, investing in a Cambium™ Networks Wi-Fi 6E access point will provide a unique solution to meet this demand. Minerva is a proud Cambium Networks partner and prides itself on the quality of customer service provided. If you’re interested in how a Wi-Fi 6 access point can benefit your organization, then get in touch with our friendly team of experts today.