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Field trial of low power gigabit WiFi 6E for home networks

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) has released the results of a field trial of 6GHz low power WiFi6E for a range of residential applications, including video collaboration for telecommuting, multiplayer gaming, augmented and virtual reality, streaming video and more.

Conducted by CableLabs and Intel, the trial took place in a 3,600-square-foot, two-story home with a basement and the drywall, wood and other building materials typically found in a suburban residence. The Wi-Fi 6E enabled laptops with Intel’s Wi-Fi 6E AX210 wireless cards were placed in various locations throughout the home and tests were conducted using a Wi-Fi 6E enabled access point from Asus.

The trial featured a range of tests on the downlink and uplink comparing throughput achieved on the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands for wide channels (80 MHz and 160 MHz). CableLabs and Intel also analysed the Wi-Fi 6E performance compared to Wi-Fi 6 on the 5 GHz band in the presence of overlapping neighbouring access points.

The trial’s key results include 1.7 TCP Gbit/s downlink and 1.2 TCP Gbit/s uplink speeds when using 160 MHz channels on Wi-Fi 6E in locations close to the access point. The larger channel bandwidth and the associated increase in total EIRP transmit power based on the channel bandwidth helped maximize both coverage and speed throughout the home.

The results show the Wi-Fi 6 devices perform better than Wi-Fi 5 devices over 5 GHz, but the higher rates and improved user experience comes from the additional bandwidth available in the 6 GHz spectrum.

“This field trial by CableLabs and Intel shows how Wi-Fi 6E and 6 GHz spectrum maximize coverage, capacity, throughput and the user experience in one of the most demanding real-world environments: people’s homes,” said Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance. “Between HD and 4K streaming video, multiplayer gaming, dozens of smart home devices and videoconferencing for remote work, today’s home Wi-Fi networks are the foundation for how people live, work and play. This trial highlights that Wi-Fi 6E is more than capable of shouldering that load, especially when paired with 6 GHz spectrum.”

Lili Hervieu, Lead Architect of Wireless Access Technology at CableLabs, said: “CableLabs has been a proponent of making the 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use, and we were honored to conduct the Wi-Fi 6E trial in one of our employee’s homes for a truly real-world experience. The results confirmed the benefit of Wi-Fi 6E for increased capacity and data rate that will support the growing demand we are seeing for a large variety of applications and for new emerging technologies.”

wballiance.com

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