Wi-Fi 6E is a variant of Wi-Fi 6, which, while maintaining all its advantages, will use the 6 GHz spectrum following an expected approval coming from communications regulators around the world.
As you know, Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) is the most advanced standard of the wireless connectivity standard and offers great advances compared to Wi-Fi ac, starting with the performance section since it allows a maximum speed of up to 10 Gbps. It also offers greater reliability and lowers energy consumption, improving the autonomy of the devices that use it.
Another of its advantages comes from the way in which compatible routers can handle connected devices, which as you know have grown enormously in both companies and homes. The improvement has come from multi-user technologies that have been taken from the cellular telecommunications industry, that is, MU-MIMO and OFDMA, techniques that greatly improve capacity and performance by allowing more simultaneous connections and better use of the spectrum.
And the spectrum is this Wi-Fi 6E variant that the Wi-Fi Alliance has just announced. If so far the standard used the 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands, this version will also use the 6 GHz band. Basically, it will allow expanding the communication routes, with a greater number of channels, a greater flow of simultaneous data and, in short, to overcome the saturation of the spectrum before the arrival of billions of connected devices.
However, as the organization points out, the 6 GHz spectrum is not yet available for Wi-Fi, as it is pending regulatory approval worldwide. The president of the FCC, Ajit Pai, expressed his intention to approve it in the United States, something that will also happen in Europe and we assume that throughout the world.
Once you receive regulatory approval, smartphones and consumer routers/access points are expected to be the first devices to adopt this technology. Wi-Fi 6E will be especially useful for virtual/augmented reality technologies, according to the Wi-Fi Alliance, although it will improve any type of use and help address the shortage of Wi-Fi available spectrum, providing contiguous blocks of spectrum that can accommodate 14 additional 80 MHz channels and seven additional 160 MHz channels.
Higher frequencies can provide much faster speeds and more capacity, although on the negative side they have a lower range and the signal is more easily blocked due to obstacles. As such, the 6 GHz spectrum is likely to have specific use cases and not be a general replacement for existing Wi-Fi standards.
We do not know when it will be available, but in the meantime, Wi-Fi 6 continues to expand and as we are seeing in the announcements of CES 2020, an increasing number of computers that support it, especially laptops, smartphones, and wireless routers.