Wi-Fi 6E: The Basics

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RMerlin

Asuswrt-Merlin dev
Wifi 6e APs cannot have removable antennas (to ensure they stay indoor)? Sounds like the FCC has overstepped its boundaries a bit there, like back in the day where they initially said that routers would need to prevent third party firmware installation (even citing DD-WRT by name in their document), only to have them backpedal, saying that it wasn't what they meant...

Not as if a dedicated modder couldn't just cut the current antenna, and install third party antennas anyway.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
The fixed antennas are mainly to try to ensure that the products don't exceed transmit power limits. Yes, some people will ignore this and patch in higher-gain antennas. But the barrier to entry is higher. You need to significantly physically modify the router and have soldering skills.

But it's in everyone's interest to not muck this up. If 6E consumer routers start to interfere with the incumbent commercial users, you can bet that the FCC would make AFC a requirement. Then we'd be back to DFS-like rules.
 

charlie2alpha

Senior Member
The reduction in transmit power is going to be annoying and will likely force the use of mesh systems for a number of users that didn't need it so far.

Non-removable antennas could also be an issue, depending on how the manufacturers handle this. External non removable antennas, or internal antennas only? The second case will hurt even more.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
The reduction in transmit power is going to be annoying and will likely force the use of mesh systems for a number of users that didn't need it so far.
Preliminary results indicate the difference might not be so bad, especially if you use 160 MHz channel width. This will be more practical in 6 GHz since there is no DFS to hassle with and the channels are there.
Non-removable antennas could also be an issue, depending on how the manufacturers handle this. External non removable antennas, or internal antennas only? The second case will hurt even more.
External antennas are fine. Look at the ASUS GT-AXE11000. They just can't be user upgradeable.
 

avtella

Very Senior Member
@charlie2alpha, Looks like by HT80, 5Ghz and 6Ghz should be relatively close. PSD is more punishing at HT20-HT40 vs 5Ghz. Additionally a Cisco article also claimed that at HT80 coverage should be similar between 5Ghz and 6Ghz with a slight advantage for 5Ghz. There is also a proposal to move from 5 dBm/MHz to 8 dBm/MHz in regards to PSD.

Cisco Article: https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/solut...2-11ax-solution/nb-06-wi-fi-6e-wp-cte-en.html

Mist Article:

 
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banjax

New Around Here
Great article.

I've also been waiting for 6E. I live in an apartment block in the middle of a large city.

I was the first visible wifi network and then gradually got flooded by other 2.4ghz networks and now the same has happened with 5ghz. I'm very keen to get the jump again.

Not so much for client to AP but certainly for mesh backhaul.

Any idea when we'll see 6E hitting shelves and particularly MESH solutions (I'm currently using Orbi RBR50s)
 

Smokey613

Very Senior Member
I don’t think these will be “flying off the shelves” until the price is lower. :)
 

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ulaganath

Very Senior Member
Without 10gig port and muti lan or more multi gig its still not complete router for top of the line.
 

SamS

Occasional Visitor
Great article and overview.

My main takeaway was that I'm not going to (ever?) be able to upgrade my Orbi RBR50/RBS50 and RBS50Y outdoor satellites to Wi-Fi 6E due to these new Low Power rules preventing weatherproof enclosures. I found it odd that Netgear never made a Wi-Fi 6 version of the RBS50Y, and now it seems I know why.

Very frustrating! Having stable outdoor Wi-Fi coverage is critical to enjoyment of my home. Switching over to LTE/5G is not an equivalent option when I'm in my backyard, as many of the devices I want to control are LAN-only.
 

Tucu

Regular Contributor
Great article and overview.

My main takeaway was that I'm not going to (ever?) be able to upgrade my Orbi RBR50/RBS50 and RBS50Y outdoor satellites to Wi-Fi 6E due to these new Low Power rules preventing weatherproof enclosures. I found it odd that Netgear never made a Wi-Fi 6 version of the RBS50Y, and now it seems I know why.

Very frustrating! Having stable outdoor Wi-Fi coverage is critical to enjoyment of my home. Switching over to LTE/5G is not an equivalent option when I'm in my backyard, as many of the devices I want to control are LAN-only.
In the US outdoor APs will be allowed in the UNII 5 and 7 bands. Probably reserved for business lines due to the registration requirements for standard power equipment. In Europe only 25mW very low power APs will be allowed outdoor.
 

det721

Part of the Furniture
Nothing on the market now other then the very few 6E routers available will be upgraded to 6E.
 

Kendo

Regular Contributor
Thanks for the interesting article.
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
@Gar Was there any particular reason for linking to that article?
 

IK Gamex

New Around Here
I'm curious as to what the requirements will be to operate on standard power outdoors (college & corporate campuses come to mind). Will it be as simple as buying 'enterprise grade' hardware? Are there any licensing requirements?

I could imagine consumers buying enterprise hardware to get around the limitation. Some folks in suburbia with modern day castle estates or folks with ranches out in Big Sky Montana would be interested in 6E outdoor coverage.
 

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