Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E Continue to See Strong Development and Growth as New Chips, Devices, and Spectrum Allocation Arrive

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2Q 2021 | IN-6138

The latest Wi-Fi protocol advancement is encouraging further technology development from countries and companies alike.

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Why Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E are Experiencing Growth


The Wi-Fi market has been seeing a lot of traction within Wi-Fi 6, with the new protocol providing a number of advantages over its predecessors. Wi-Fi 6 doubles the available channel width, provides faster connectivity, uses OFDMA for channel sharing to increase efficiency, provides 8x8 MU-MIMO for connecting more devices, uses BSS coloring to improve efficiency by detecting with device connects to which router, uses beamforming for higher data rates, and uses TWT for improve device battery life by detecting when to send or receive data. All of this allows for use cases such as 8K video streaming, large file downloads and uploads, and smart home, with the ability to connect large numbers of devices simultaneously. More companies within the market are developing and offering Wi-Fi 6 enabled devices and solutions to take advantage of these benefits and enable new use cases.

Wi-Fi 6E has also been seeing a lot of development, providing access to the 6 GHz band to increase speeds, reduce latencies, and support more simultaneous connectivity’s due to the extra, empty bandwidth and wider channels. More countries and regions are releasing the 6 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi usage, enabling support for a greater number of devices and use cases across a variety of consumer and enterprise verticals.

Latest Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E Announcements Show Strong Push from the Market


Siemens has released a scalable industrial Wi-Fi 6 client module, designed for manufacturing, transportation, and logistics use cases, working alongside Siemens’ industrial Wi-Fi 6 access point (AP) to provide an end-to-end networking solution. The module is designed to provide Wi-Fi 6 connectivity for applications such as remotely operated cranes, augmented reality (AR) remote operations, and automated guided vehicles. The APs provide up to 1.2 Gbps, feature a sleep mode to reduce battery consumption, rugged features, and software redundancy features for applications such as transportation, roaming, and security.

Saudi Arabia’s regulatory body, the Communications and Information Technology Commission (CITC), has announced that it plans to release the full 1.2 GHz of spectrum in the 6 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use, becoming the first country to do so within Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, with the aim to support increasing data consumption and future technologies. It will also have the largest amount of mid-band license-exempt spectrum in the world, with over 2 GHz. The country has joined the USA, South Korea, Chile, Guatemala, Honduras, and Brazil in releasing the full band, and hopes that other countries both in and out of the region will do the same. The full technical rules for the band have not yet been released, with the initial focus being on making the decision, and are expected to be announced after a follow up consultation with over 65 wireless technologies organizations from 20 countries.

The European Conference of Postal and Telecommunications Administrations (CEPT) region of the EU has announced that it will be releasing the lower 480 MHz of the 6 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use. However, it is expected that in order to maintain digitalization, productivity, innovation, and socioeconomics, the region will need to release the remainder of the band. Despite this, the lower part of the 6 GHz band will still provide a significant amount of extra spectrum for the area, ensuring that large numbers of Wi-Fi devices will be supported.

There have also been a number of new Wi-Fi 6E chipsets that have been released, targeting a number of different use cases and markets beyond mobile devices. For example, lower configuration Internet of Things (IoT) chipsets will be critical to bring the market into the mainstream. NXP has released a Wi-Fi 6E tri-band system on a chip (SoC) for APs and service provider gateways, designed to offer higher throughput, increased capacity, better reliability, and improved latency. It provides speed of over 4 Gbps and utilizes the 6 GHz band for backhaul and cloud gaming, and is designed for applications such as consumer, automotive, industrial, and IoT. Infineon has released a Wi-Fi 6/Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth combo SoC for IoT, enterprise, and automotive applications, which is designed to improve performance, reduce latency, and support video, audio, streaming, gaming, AR, VR, infotainment, security, and IoT. It provides a large coverage range, robust connectivity, power saving features, and security protections.

Linksys has released Wi-Fi 6E routers and mesh systems that use the 6 GHz band to increase speeds and provide connectivity to a large number of devices, including AR and VR. The router provides up to 6.6 Gbps of speed, with connectivity provided over 2,700 ft2 for over 55 simultaneous devices and uses chipsets from Qualcomm. The mesh system uses Qualcomm’s Wi-Fi 6E Platform and uses the 6 GHz band for backhaul connectivity. Samsung has also released a Wi-Fi 6E television that is designed to provide faster, more reliable connectivity when multiple devices are connected to one router.

Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E Set to See Major Growth


It is clear that major players within the Wi-Fi market are supporting the push towards the new Wi-Fi 6 protocol, ensuring that they offer up to date solutions that allow them to remain competitive. Companies that have yet to investigate Wi-Fi 6 are advised to do so, ensuring that newer devices and networking solutions have access to the improved connectivity features. Consumer and enterprise users will continue to demand the latest technology from their devices and solutions, ensuring that the increasing numbers of devices have access to high speed, reliable connectivity. Wi-Fi 6 chipset shipments are expected to rise from 370 million in 2020, to 2.8 billion in 2025, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 50%.

An increasing number of countries are also opening up the 6 GHz band for unlicensed Wi-Fi use, ensuring that more devices can have access to high speed, low interference connectivity. It is expected that most other countries will also open up the band to ensure that companies can provide this connectivity to enterprise and consumer users. Wi-Fi 6E will see an increase in shipments over the coming years and is expected to make up 16% of Wi-Fi 6 chipset shipments by 2025.

Wi-Fi 6E will also be fundamental to Wi-Fi 7, which is expected to be released in 2025 and will also utilize the 6 GHz band, building on the experience of the former protocol. Wi-Fi 7 will have improved features to increase capacity, speed, coverage, performance, reduce latency, and improve overall connectivity. It will utilize the 2.4 GHz, 5 GHz, and 6 GHz bands simultaneously, with larger channel bandwidths and increased streams.

Currently, companies such as ASUS, Broadcom, Intel, Linksys, MediaTek, ON Semiconductor, Qualcomm, and Samsung have developed and released Wi-Fi 6E certified products, including smartphones, routers, APs, and chipsets. Companies within the market are expected to continue to develop and release new Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 6E devices. Alongside this, countries and regions such as US, UK, UAE, South Korea, Brazil, Chile, Guatemala, and Honduras have released or announced plans to release the 6 GHz band for Wi-Fi, with others such as Argentina, Australia, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Egypt, Japan, Jordan, Mexico, Oman, Peru, Qatar, and Turkey expected to follow.