wi-fi graphicWork is being done to clear 6GHz for Wi-Fi use to add more channels. Many dense urban areas may have as many as 500 access points visible to a mobile phones. Current 802.11n and 802.11ac access points are hard pressed to minimize the interference at the best of times.

At present draft 3 of the 802.11ax is being voted on and we expect it to be ratified soon. Some early hardware may need a firmware update once the standard is published.

One of the biggest challenges ahead is getting access to as much as 1.2 GHz worth of the 6-GHz band for unlicensed use. The bands are already used, in part, by satellite and public safety networks as well as carriers doing mobile backhaul. Manufacturers are in discussions with regulators in the U.S. and Europe it looks promising for 6GHz.

Developers hope that the 6-GHz band is cleared by 2020 for unlicensed use that would include both Wi-Fi and cellular. Wi-Fi proponents aim to retrofit 802.11ax for 6 GHz by that time and have an enhanced 6-GHz implementation available by 2023.

With more bandwidth at 6GHz there is some push to increase channel width to 320MHz which is double even the maximum in the upcoming 802.11ax standard. This would requires 16 steams to be able to aggregate that much performance.