Don’t get excited about Wi-Fi 6E on the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

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It is currently expected that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 will feature support for the latest Wi-Fi 6E standard. We should have confirmation of this by the end of today.

Wi-Fi 6E vs Wi-Fi 6

Qualcomm have launched Wi-Fi 6E chipsets which will work in routers

The Wi-Fi standard builds upon the existing Wi-Fi 6 by using the 6Ghz channel as well as 5Ghz and 2.4Ghz.

The benefit here is that 6Ghz is far less congested and offers considerably more channels to use. This is particularly important if you want to use the 160Hz width channels.

Currently, on the congested 5Ghz channel, you only have six 80MHz and two 160MHz channels.

Using 6Ghz, you gain access to fourteen-80Mhz channels and seven 160Mhz channels, making it easily possible to run a mesh system or access points with no overlapping channels on the 160Mhz width.

However, it seems unlikely that Wi-Fi 6E will become mainstream any time soon.

Reasons why Wi-Fi 6E could take years to become mainstream:

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 only supports Wi-Fi 6E

The initial wording I have seen for the SD888 is that it supports Wi-Fi 6E. This could be similar to when Wi-Fi 6 was launched on the SD855, and only Samsung implemented it.

No routers yet

The biggest challenge at the moment is that there are no routers that offer Wi-Fi 6E. When Wi-Fi 6 launched there were a couple already out, plus it has been a couple of years now, and Wi-Fi 6 is only really just gaining decent traction.

Affordable dual-band Wi-Fi 6E will be non-existent due to backwards compatibility

Speculation on my behalf, but if a router comes out with Wi-Fi 6E, it will need to be tri-band, offering 2.4Ghz, 5Ghz, and 6Ghz.

Currently, dual-band Wi-Fi 6 devices have become quite affordable, and the 5Ghz radio can handle both Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi 6.

With the new 6E, the 6Ghz radio will only be compatible with 6E devices. So it is impossible to have a dual-band system (as far as my basic understanding goes).

Currently, most tri-band Wi-Fi 6 routers cost well in excess of £300.

Last update on 2021-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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