Wi-Fi 6E, biggest upgrade in 20 years, to arrive this year


(IANS) Heralding a new era for the next generation of Wi-Fi in one of its biggest update in 20 years, the Wi-Fi Alliance, the industry-wide group that oversees Wi-Fi, on Thursday said it has started to certify the first wave of products with support for Wi-Fi 6E.

Phones, PCs, and laptops with support should start arriving in the market this year.

“Interoperability certification for Wi-Fi 6E is introduced as global momentum for Wi-Fi operation in the 6 GHz band increases daily. Wi-Fi 6E brings the immense benefits of 6 GHz spectrum to consumers, device manufacturers, and service providers as the band is being made available around the world,” the alliance said in a statement.

Wi-Fi Alliance certification will help ensure users receive a secure, reliable, and interoperable experience with Wi-Fi 6E devices.

Following the decision by the US Federal Communications Commission to open 1200 MHz of 6 GHz spectrum for Wi-Fi use, the U., Europe, Chile, South Korea, and the United Arab Emirates have also made the decision to deliver 6 GHz for Wi-Fi.

Countries including Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Taiwan, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and Jordan are quickly progressing towards opening 6 GHz for unlicensed operation.

“Wi-Fi 6E will see rapid adoption in 2021 with more than 338 million devices entering the market, and nearly 20 percent of all Wi-Fi 6 device shipments supporting 6 GHz by 2022,” said Phil Solis, research director at IDC.

“This year, we expect to see new Wi-Fi 6E chipsets from several companies, and a variety of new Wi-Fi 6E smartphones, PCs, and laptops in the first quarter of 2021 followed by TVs and VR product announcements midyear,” Solis added.

Wi-Fi 6E certification utilises cutting-edge WPA3 security that continually evolves to address market needs.

WPA3 has recently been updated to support more even more robust password generation, mitigate additional attacks, and further protect and maintain privacy on Wi-Fi networks.

“Worldwide interoperability for Wi-Fi 6E devices promotes rapid adoption and innovation in 6 GHz,” said Edgar Figueroa, president and CEO, Wi-Fi Alliance.

“Users will soon experience unprecedented Wi-Fi that significantly improves applications and delivers new use cases that will change their connected experiences.”

Samsung is launching its next flagship phones, the Galaxy S21 series, next week with Snapdragon 888 processor that can support Wi-Fi 6E.

“Cisco is proud to work alongside Wi-Fi Alliance to ensure the 6 GHz spectrum is available for unlicensed use, providing a foundation for unlimited innovation. Wi-Fi 6E represents significant advancements in security, reliability and performance, which has never been more important as Wi-Fi traffic continues to grow exponentially,” said Matt MacPherson, Wireless CTO at Cisco.

Alan Hsu, Corporate Vice President & General Manager, Intelligent Connectivity BU, MediaTek said that it will continue to expand its portfolio with Wi-Fi 6E certified solutions as part of the Wi-Fi Alliance’s new Wi-Fi 6E certification programme.

“Currently, MediaTek’s Wi-Fi chipsets are found in hundreds of millions of smartphones, smart TVs, tablets, routers and IoT devices from the industry’s top brands,” Hsu added.

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