Why WiFi 6E really does gives you more
The new WiFi 6E standard is more than just another number on the wireless scale – for many customers and deployments, it can make a real difference, says Patrick Hirscher, EMEA Wireless Market Development Manager at Zyxel.
There is a scene in the mockumentary film by Rob Reiner, This Is Spinal Tap, in which the band’s guitarist, Nigel Tufnel, is explaining to the documentary maker that his amplifiers are different because instead of 10, they go up to 11, so they are louder.
The interviewer tries to make Nigel see that “11” is just a number and it doesn’t really make it louder than other amps that only go up to 10. But Nigel, being Nigel, is having none of it. To him, his amp is louder than anyone else’s because it goes up one more. ‘These go to eleven’ he insists, bringing the conversation to a close.
It's a hilarious scene for lots of reasons. It also has a message to those of us who are tech’ or gadget freaks and like stuff that goes faster or plays louder. We must not be deceived by the sales pitch or the label – it’s the actual, real-world performance of the device that matters.
Where will WiFi 6E be useful?
You can definitely expect to get extra performance and capability with WiFi 6E, the latest version of the wireless networking standard which, by extending to the 6GHz frequency band, provides higher throughput than the 5GHz and 2.4GHz bands available with standard WiFi 6.
This will make a big difference in various scenarios. If you are setting up a smart meeting room to provide a high-quality experience for teams interacting remotely with other groups and individuals, for example. You may want to make use of the very latest 8K video conferencing technology. WiFi 6E will definitely make a big difference here.
It will also help if you are using VR/AR technologies for hands-on learning or simulation, and remote assistance. VR/AR devices are now being deployed more widely in education, healthcare, engineering and other fields. WiFi 6E will provide the additional bandwidth to enable free movement of VR/AR devices, providing the good, consistent connectivity that’s essential to making these deployments effective.
WiFi 6E will also lift performance across any wireless network – and especially bigger networks in areas where there will a high density of users, such as conference centres, arenas, and college campuses. There is a real need for additional bandwidth in such locations now. All of us are making daily use of collaboration and video conferencing apps, video streaming and cloud-based apps and services. As a result, demand for bandwidth on the wireless network continues to rise.
WiFi 6E definitely brings significant benefits and Zyxel has now made three access points available that support the new technology. The NWA 220AX-6E and the WAX 620D-6E, both come with Zyxel BandFlex, which enables you to use the 6GHz instead of the 5GHz frequency and thus benefit from the increased throughput at the higher frequency.
The key difference between these two models is that the NWA 220AX-6E comes with NebulaFlex, which means the device can be managed stand-alone, or using our Nebula cloud platform. The WAX 620D-6E has NebulaFlex Pro, which gives you three management options – stand-alone, using a dedicated Zyxel controller device, such as a security gateway, or with Nebula.
Our flagship WAX 640S-6E model will support all three frequency bands simultaneously, giving you the ultimate flexibility and extended capability to support ultra high-definition video, the use of AR/VR devices, and higher densities of wireless users. In addition, smart antenna technology on this access point prevents signal interference, so users get smooth, reliable connections at all times.
One step beyond
While WiFi 6E might appear to be only one step up from WiFi 6 (an ’11’ instead of a ’10’), it does deliver distinct advantages. For new deployments, it makes sense as it will provide additional performance and future proofing. For existing networks that cover large areas – such as public spaces and colleges – deploying WiFi 6E access points in key spots will make a real difference, help to maximise coverage and improve the user experience.
By the way, if you have not seen This Is Spinal Tap, I’d recommend you give it a try. ‘These go to 11’ is one of many funny scenes. But when it comes to making a choice between WiFi 6 and WiFi 6 E, you can be certain that there is a real difference, and that with the Zyxel series of WiFi 6 access points, you will get the very best that the 6 GHz frequency band has to offer.
You can get full details of the new Zyxel WiFi 6E access points from your local partner – or contact your nearest Zyxel office.