Will Wi-Fi 6 solve the issue not having to pick channels?

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Buldozerx

Occasional Visitor
I play a lot using cloud gaming, so I always have to make sure that I pick a channel without congestion. My neighbors have a tendency to jump to my channel automatically. I'm the only one in my neighborhood with WiFi 6 according to WiFi Analyzer, but I read that widespread WiFi 6 might solve this issue due to its technology. When my neighborhood sometime in the future adapt WiFi 6, will this issue be solved without me having to pick channels?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Not likely. Wi-Fi 6 is supposed to improve airtime efficiency, primarily by the use of OFDMA. Theoretically more efficient airtime use should reduce congestion. But there are so many "legacy" (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) devices in use that even if OFDMA did work (and my experiments show it doesn't at this point) any improvements would be a drop in the ocean.

When Wi-Fi 6E arrives, the additional channels won't be congested until there are a lot of 6E devices. But like any new highway, it will quickly fill to capacity as more people try to move to a less crowded neighborhood.
 

Buldozerx

Occasional Visitor
Not likely. Wi-Fi 6 is supposed to improve airtime efficiency, primarily by the use of OFDMA. Theoretically more efficient airtime use should reduce congestion. But there are so many "legacy" (802.11a/b/g/n/ac) devices in use that even if OFDMA did work (and my experiments show it doesn't at this point) any improvements would be a drop in the ocean.

When Wi-Fi 6E arrives, the additional channels won't be congested until there are a lot of 6E devices. But like any new highway, it will quickly fill to capacity as more people try to move to a less crowded neighborhood.
What if my entire neighborhood had WiFi 6? Let's picture a scenario without WiFi 5 devices. Would we still need to pick channels, or would that solve the issue? I mean, Wifi won't work as it should before we get rid of this problem.
 
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thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
What if my entire neighborhood had WiFi 6? Let's picture a scenario without WiFi 5 devices. Would we still need to pick channels, or would that solve the issue?
There is nothing specific in Wi-Fi 6 or any Wi-Fi technology that completely eliminates the need to select channels. Unlike cellular technology, there is no central control of the network.
 

Buldozerx

Occasional Visitor
There is nothing specific in Wi-Fi 6 or any Wi-Fi technology that completely eliminates the need to select channels. Unlike cellular technology, there is no central control of the network.
I see. But even if WiFi 6E do get crowded at some point, there are still so many more channels to choose from, and the 6Ghz signal is shorter, right? You have to live in a extremely crowded area to run out of available channels on a 6Ghz band, right?
 

sfx2000

Part of the Furniture
@thiggins - from random PCAP's - most WiFi6 AP's disable UL-OFDMA by default.

Also to note that the most common WiFi6 client STA - iPhone, they don't even enable WiFi 5 Wave 2 features like MU-MIMO or 160MHz channes...

That being said, at least Apple has done good on WPA3 for 11ac devices on current OS's there...
 

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