I recently bought myself a brand-new Dodge RAM truck, the 2021 Longhorn model. And I love it. But guess what? Two months later, the 2022 model was available on dealer lots. And you know what? The 2022 model had a few new bells and whistles, but there wasn’t that much difference in features and capabilities from my prized truck. So, I am happy with my 2021 pickup truck.
And I like to use this analogy when talking about generations of Wi-Fi: Think of Wi-Fi 6E as the 2022 model for Wi-Fi technology, Wi-Fi 6 was probably the 2020 model, Wi-Fi 5, maybe the 2017 model. The older Wi-Fi models all drive on the frequency interstates of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. And these freeways are very crowded. 2.4 GHz is effectively a constant grid-locked traffic jam. 5 GHz is also overcrowded depending on the time of the day and where you’re located.
But what about the Wi-Fi 6E model? It also operates on these over-congested interstates, but the Wi-Fi 6E model also has exclusive access to a brand-new superhighway. And that superhighway is called the 6 GHz frequency band. Even better, the 6 GHz frequency band is double the size of the other two over-congested highways combined. But it gets better… the newer Wi-Fi 6E model can drive on this 6 GHz superhighway exclusively, meaning the older models aren’t even allowed on this new superhighway which has big 80 MHz lanes. So obviously, which highway would you want to drive on?
This brings us to the next question. What about Wi-Fi 7? Currently, Wi-Fi 7 is on the engineering chalkboard, but we expect the enterprise Wi-Fi 7 model in 2024. Will this future model have some new bells and whistles? Sure. Wi-Fi 7 may have some new dashboard features and some new lane assist technology, but at the end of the day, the true value for Wi-Fi 7 will be that it will also be built on the 6 GHz superhighway that’s already available right now.
So, remember, it’s not always about features and updates and the biggest thing happening in Wi-Fi right now is that it’s all about the spectrum.