1200 MHz of Fresh Spectrum – Make the Most of It

By Scott Imhoff

What will you do with the new 6 GHz spectrum? You will soon be able to better open up the digital home for pleasure, for work, for study, for control and management. In the fixed wireless broadband space, you will be able to deliver gigabit to the edge. Virtual reality for education and entertainment will be available as will Machine-to-machine Industry 4.0 applications.

Given the pace of device incorporation of 6 GHz, global regultory advancement, development of test equipment, and supporting planning and management tools, we may not have critical mass penetration until Q2 2023. You may have older Wi-Fi networks deployed within your enterprise or your business today. There is an enormous population of 2.4 and 5 GHz clients that are going to persist for a long time and can take advantage of Wi-Fi 6. And you can lift the performance of your network significantly, independent of 6 GHz, with the advancements embedded in the Wi-Fi 6 standard. But what you want to think about in making those investments in a 6 GHz platform, even though it is not going to be used significantly until that 2023 timeframe, is how you handle that transition.

If you are making an investment in 6 GHz or 6E, you will want to consider the following: Do you have a software-defined Access Point? Do you have a tri-band Wi-Fi AP? Because in the near term, 2.4 and 5 GHz are going to be the dominant bands, and you want to be able to allocate the computational horsepower and RF horsepower of that AP to take advantage of 2.4 and 5 GHz. But at the same time, as the client population of 6E devices ramps, you want to be able to allocate capacity on that AP, to 6E.

Implementing 6GHz and 6E

What is the best thing to be doing now? Become familiar with the timeline for local regulations and your specific use cases. We can help you navigate through that or show what information we have available. Frame your strategy around three core elements: regulatory approval, software-defined radio technology, and device population. Having said that, there is no need to postpone network upgrades. If you are contemplating an upgrade of Wi-Fi 6, proceed forward with confidence! You are going to have five or more good years of performance given the density of devices that are out there using 5 GHz today. If you are making that investment and you are contemplating the use of 6 GHz, ensure that the access point is tri-band, and ensure that the radios are software-defined.

And that wll give you maximum flexibility and agility in managing your network.

View the full recorded video of Scott’s presentation “The Time Has Come for 6GHz and Wi-Fi 6E.”

Published March 4, 2021