WBA field trial of Low Power Indoor Wi-Fi 6E with CableLabs, Intel and Asus

The Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) today announced results from a new field trial using technology from CableLabs®, Intel, and Asus.  The purpose was to highlight the benefits of using Low Power Indoor Wi-Fi 6E for a wide variety of demanding residential applications, including video collaboration for telecommuting, multiplayer gaming, augmented and virtual reality, streaming video and more.

Since the 6 GHz band is higher frequency range than 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz typically used for Wi-Fi, signals have more of a challenge with obstruction the trial took place in a 3,600-square-foot, two-story home with a basement and the drywall, wood and other building materials typically found in a suburban residence. The Wi-Fi 6E enabled laptops with Intel® Wi-Fi 6E AX210 wireless cards were placed in various locations throughout the home and tests were conducted using a Wi-Fi 6E enabled access point from Asus.

The trial featured a range of tests on the downlink and uplink comparing throughput achieved on the 5 GHz and 6 GHz bands for wide channels (80 MHz and 160 MHz). CableLabs and Intel also analyzed the Wi-Fi 6E performance compared to Wi-Fi 6 on the 5 GHz band in the presence of overlapping neighbouring access points.

The trial’s key results include 1.7 TCP Gbps downlink and 1.2 TCP Gbps uplink speeds when using 160 MHz channels on Wi-Fi 6E in locations close to the access point. The larger channel bandwidth and the associated increase in total EIRP transmit power based on the channel bandwidth helped maximize both coverage and speed throughout the home.

These results clearly demonstrate the real-world benefits of using Wi-Fi 6E enabled devices over 6 GHz rather than 5 GHz. It is important to note that although Wi-Fi 6 devices perform better than Wi-Fi 5 devices over 5 GHz, next-level user experiences are possible with Wi-Fi 6E and the additional bandwidth available in the 6 GHz spectrum.

Tiago Rodrigues, CEO of the Wireless Broadband Alliance, said: “This field trial by CableLabs and Intel shows how Wi-Fi 6E and 6 GHz spectrum maximize coverage, capacity, throughput and the user experience in one of the most demanding real-world environments: people’s homes. Between HD and 4K streaming video, multiplayer gaming, dozens of smart home devices and videoconferencing for remote work, today’s home Wi-Fi networks are the foundation for how people live, work and play. This trial highlights that Wi-Fi 6E is more than capable of shouldering that load, especially when paired with 6 GHz spectrum.”

Lili Hervieu, Lead Architect of Wireless Access Technology at CableLabs, said: “CableLabs has been a proponent of making the 6 GHz band available for unlicensed use, and we were honored to conduct the Wi-Fi 6E trial in one of our employee’s homes for a truly real-world experience. The results confirmed the benefit of Wi-Fi 6E for increased capacity and data rate that will support the growing demand we are seeing for a large variety of applications and for new emerging technologies.”

Eric A. McLaughlin, VP Client Computing Group, GM Wireless Solutions Group, Intel Corporation, said: “Intel’s mission is to enable great PC experiences with industry leading platform capabilities like Wi-fi 6E.  The wireless trial, in collaboration with CableLabs and the Wireless Broadband Alliance, helps demonstrate the versatility of Wi-fi 6E on Intel platforms.  The speed, latency, and reliability improvements enabled by the new 6 GHz spectrum, with larger channels and freedom from legacy Wi-Fi interference, will help dramatically enhance user communication, entertainment, and productivity.”

About the Wireless Broadband Alliance: 

Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is the global organization that connects people with the latest Wi-Fi initiatives. Founded in 2003, the vision of the Wireless Broadband Alliance (WBA) is to drive seamless, interoperable service experiences via Wi-Fi within the global wireless ecosystem. WBA’s mission is to enable collaboration between service providers, technology companies, cities, regulators and organizations to achieve that vision. WBA’s membership is comprised of major operators, identity providers and leading technology companies across the Wi-Fi ecosystem with the shared vision.

WBA undertakes programs and activities to address business and technical issues, as well as opportunities, for member companies. WBA work areas include standards development, industry guidelines, trials, certification and advocacy. Its key programs include NextGen Wi-Fi, OpenRoaming, 5G, IoT, Testing & Interoperability and  Policy & Regulatory Affairs, with member-led Work Groups dedicated to resolving standards and technical issues to promote end-to-end services and accelerate business opportunities.

The WBA Board includes Airties, AT&T, Boingo Wireless, Broadcom, BT, Cisco Systems, Comcast, Deutsche Telekom AG, GlobalReach Technology, Google, Intel, Reliance Jio, SK Telecom and Viasat.  For the complete list of current WBA members, click here.

2 thoughts on “WBA field trial of Low Power Indoor Wi-Fi 6E with CableLabs, Intel and Asus

  1. This is great news for anyone struggling with WiFi in the home. It will be interesting to see how it performs in higher density locations, like MDUs. Still, with so much bandwidth and smarter management techniques compared to early WiFi deployments, it has to be a big improvement.

  2. WBA started its first phase of Wi-Fi 6E trials back in March 2020, before the 6 GHz band was authorized for unlicensed use in in the U.S, using mobile platforms and laptop equipment enabled by members Broadcom and Intel. Enterprise trials in San Jose, California reached speeds of 2 Gbps, as the industry group aimed to show how opening the 6 GHz band could help remove pain points for many Wi-Fi networks that were highly congested.

    At the time WBA said next phases would involve trials on subway transportation systems and in-home testing with CableLabs, SK Telecom and Transit Wireless.

    WBA estimates that more than 338 million Wi-Fi 6E devices will enter the global market this year and that nearly 20% of all Wi-Fi 6 device shipments will support 6 GHz by 2022, according to an annual industry report released in October.

    Just this week WBA and CableLabs subsidiary Kyrio each submitted applications to the Federal Communications Commission to operate Automated Frequency Coordination (AFC) systems for the 6 GHz band. In the U.S., AFC systems will enable outdoor and higher power operations, including Wi-Fi, 5G unlicensed (NR-U) and more, using 6 GHz spectrum while protecting incumbent users.

    Low-power indoor Wi-Fi 6E – like demonstrated in the recent trial – are already possible since the FCC freed up 1,200 MHz in the band last year.

    https://www.fiercewireless.com/tech/wba-boasts-indoor-wi-fi-6e-trial-intel-cablelabs

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