As the most commonly used Internet access technology, Wi-Fi is closely related to each of our lives.
Especially in the past two years, due to the epidemic, more and more social activities have shifted from offline to online, and Wi-Fi has played a huge role in this, significantly reducing the impact of the epidemic on society and the economy.
According to data provided by Cisco Networking (Figure 1), in 2021, 50% of global Internet traffic will come from Wi-Fi.
In the past 20 years, Wi-Fi has carried the growing network demand by relying on the only two frequency bands of 2.4GHz and 5GHz (a total of more than 600 MHz of spectrum).
In previous articles, we covered some of the new technologies in Wi-Fi 6. These techniques can help alleviate the problem of network congestion.
However, even if wireless engineers can use numerous black technologies to expand network capacity, in recent years, the rapid increase in the number of wireless devices and the higher and higher speed requirements brought by applications have eventually led to spectrum becoming the bottleneck of network capacity.
Currently, the 2.4GHz and 5GHz bands used by Wi-Fi are already very crowded. Reflected in the user experience, the network delay increases, the user rate decreases, and the interference between Wi-Fi routers becomes more and more frequent.
In order to meet this challenge, shortly after the launch of Wi-Fi 6, the Wi-Fi industry actively promoted the development of Wi-Fi 6E.
Wi-Fi 6E follows the core technology of current Wi-Fi 6, and expands network capacity by extending the working frequency band of Wi-Fi 6 to 6GHz (5925-7125MHz). As shown in Figure 2, the newly added 1200MHz has doubled the spectrum resources of Wi-Fi compared to the past.
The 6GHz spectrum, for Wi-Fi, can make a qualitative leap in performance. From Figure 3, we can see that 6GHz doubles the number of Wi-Fi channels.
Taking the most commonly used 40MHz channel, 5GHz can provide 4 ordinary channels and 8 DFS channels. (Note: The function of the DFS channel is to protect the frequency used by the radar from interference. When the Wi-Fi device detects that the radar is using this frequency band, the Wi-Fi will automatically avoid the channel)
And on 6GHz, there are up to 29 DFS-free 40MHz channels for Wi-Fi devices to choose from.
The current global development of Wi-Fi 6E
Wi-Fi 6E devices generally support the entire 6GHz range, but in terms of specific usable frequency ranges, device manufacturers need to meet the frequency band requirements of various countries.
The international spectrum allocation for 6GHz Wi-Fi mainly has two directions. Fi use.
The second is a step-by-step approach, first opening the 500MHz of the low 6GHz band (5925-6425MHz) for Wi-Fi use, and continuing to study and wait-and-see attitude in the planning of the high 6GHz (6425-7125MHz).
The regions that hold this strategy are mainly the European Union, Australia, Japan and other countries.
One of the main reasons for this is that an important topic in Agenda 1.2 of WRC-23 has implications for spectrum allocation in these countries and regions.
In this issue, the 6425-7125MHz frequency band may be identified as a mobile communication band in some regions for future 5G or even 6G use. my country is also one of the active supporters of this issue.
Starting from 2021, there have been a large number of terminals and network devices supporting Wi-Fi 6E. At present, the entire Wi-Fi 6E ecosystem is developing very well. It is expected that more mainstream devices will support Wi-Fi 6E this year.
The future of Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi technology is still being updated.
Not long after Wi-Fi 6 came out in 2019, the 802.11 working group began research on the next-generation Wi-Fi technology, Wi-Fi 7. The academic name of Wi-Fi 7 is 802.11be, and it uses the exact same spectrum resources as the current Wi-Fi 6E.
At present, the standard work of Wi-Fi 7 is still in full swing, and the first Release has been determined at the beginning of this year. Work on the full standard will not be finalized until after 2024. Certified Wi-Fi 7 devices will not be available on the market until 2025.