Ofcom to enable faster Wi-Fi at home with 6 GHz radio band


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UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has increased the spectrum of spectrum available for Wi-Fi routers to 6 GHz, opening the door to much faster wireless connections in the home.

This frees up an additional 500 MHz of radio frequency for connecting our phones, tablets, smart TVs and home smart devices, but especially for the first time, it will allow households to access Wi-Fi 6, which is the most recent – and therefore the fastest. – wireless generation broadband.

The new frequency will only be achievable on those Wi-Fi 6 routers, which have started to roll out commercially but are only now starting to be available to the regular consumer. However, once they are a bit more widespread, this combination could withstand high-speed speeds of up to 10Gbps, which would easily be future-proof home wireless technology for a generation. .

How does this affect internet speed?

Currently, you may have noticed that many Wi-Fi routers show two options when you connect to them: 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. These are separate radio bands offered by the router to help free up space for enough devices to seamlessly connect to the router at one time. Choosing different frequencies helps reduce congestion and keep latency low, making your connection to the router faster and more reliable.

In addition, the higher the frequency, the faster the connection. 5 GHz is faster because it can transfer more data to the router in a given period of time than the 2.4 GHz option – although it is not as penetrating through walls, doors and floors. The same can be said for 6 GHz versus 5 GHz.

It may seem counterproductive that the faster frequency cannot reach the slower frequencies, but this has its advantages. This makes the signal more secure for your home and there is less chance of it being congested by other nearby Wi-Fi signals, giving you a smoother experience overall.

Gigabit speeds over Wi-Fi

At present, it is very difficult to achieve the highest fiber optic broadband speeds through a wireless connection. Due to the limited capabilities of most existing routers, the only way to really take advantage of 1 Gbps broadband speeds at home is to plug your device into them using a wired Ethernet connection.

As mentioned above, this is expected to change with the introduction of 6 GHz compatible Wi-Fi 6 routers. Once installed, you should no longer have to run a long cable throughout your home if you want to achieve gigabit broadband speeds.

Why is this happening now?

Essentially, because it is time. There comes a time when the level of demand makes it a worthwhile investment for UK telecommunications providers, and that point is fast approaching.

As Ofcom mentioned in its consultation doc in January 2020:

“Almost 87% of UK adults have access to the internet at home (as shown by Ofcom’s Technology Tracker, March 2019) and Wi-Fi plays an important role in enabling wireless connectivity. It provides the final link between people’s routers and the growing number of wireless electronic devices in their homes, including TVs, smart devices, and smart consoles.

“The increasing availability and adoption of ultra-fast and broadband fiber-based services, along with the growing number of wirelessly connected devices, is driving demand for Wi-Fi. The expectations of individuals and businesses for Wi-Fi usage is increasing, including the need for a consistent and seamless experience across different devices and locations. “

As the number of Wi-Fi connected devices in our homes increases every year and more and more home appliances begin to offer wireless connectivity, this decade is expected to see a boom in internet traffic per household. The 6 GHz radio band, along with Wi-Fi 6 technology, will be a welcome avenue for all our new devices to connect smoothly and quickly.

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