Networking continues to be one of the most important technology developments for manufacturing and production enterprises. I came across this article from Michael Tennefoss, vice president of IoT and strategic partnerships at Aruba, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company. He is responsible for the company’s ecosystem of technology partners and strategic initiatives, including the Internet of Things and blockchain.

He discusses Wi-Fi 6E in this blog post at HPE. Here are the quick takeaways:

LESSONS FOR LEADERS

• Wi-Fi 6E is being implemented in large, real-world environments.

• Newer applications increasingly demand high bandwidth and wireless access.

• Wi-Fi 6E was carefully engineered so as not to interfere with established uses of the bandwidth.

Following are a few of his thoughts. Click the link for the entire article.

In the networking market, one truism has held constant for decades: Applications expand to fill all available bandwidth. No sooner does a technological breakthrough that increases bandwidth hit the market than a myriad of applications are released, pushing the bar higher still. Whether it’s high-definition gaming, augmented or virtual reality, or real-time medical imaging, customer demand for network capacity is insatiable.

Wi-Fi 6 also squeezes roughly 25 percent more bits into every radio frequency (RF) cycle by adjusting the amplitude and phase of each bit through a technique called 1024-bit quadrature amplitude modulation (QAM). RF power management reduces interference with other radio networks, allowing the benefits of OFDMA and QAM to be delivered in real applications and not just lab environments.

Wi-Fi 6 operates in the 2.4 and 5 GHz bands, and while that enables backward compatibility with previous iterations of Wi-Fi, it was well known that additional bands would be needed to accommodate future needs. Work was afoot for years to secure unlicensed spectrum in the 6 GHz band for this purpose. However, doing so required reallocating frequencies already in use by ultra-wideband systems, microwave services, and wireless backhaul.

The benefits of using Wi-Fi 6E include more capacity, improved high-density congestion mitigation, and 160 MHz channels for demanding high-definition streaming. Additionally, it avoids the increasingly congested 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands with headroom to spare as 6 GHz devices come on the market. These benefits depend on the availability of Wi-Fi 6E access points and 6E-enabled client devices.

Aruba began shipping its AP-630 Series Wi-Fi 6E APs in 2021 and predicts that the transition to 6E will be in full swing in 2022. Industry analyst firm 650 Group forecasts that revenues for the Wi-Fi 6E-based enterprise and outdoor wireless LAN market will exceed $1 billion by 2025 and that the consumer market—including routers, consumer mesh, extenders, and broadband customer premises equipment with Wi-Fi—will also exceed $1 billion in the same period. A list of 6E-enabled products is published by the Wi-Fi Alliance.

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