Jun 10, 2020
Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
As global populations transitioned their work, school, and entire social circles to virtual environments over these last months, home wireless networks have transitioned from nice-to-have to mission critical. When stable and fast connectivity is what guarantees delivery of the pitch that might save next quarter’s revenue, an essential video call with a sick child’s pediatrician, or the last lecture before final exams — there’s no margin for error.
But home networks are indeed straining under the pressure. That’s because this new surge in usage is an acceleration of longer-term trends. Where increasing device count, simultaneous and decentralized consumption, and on-demand high resolution content drove a gradual sea change in home networking (toward mesh Wi-Fi we helped pioneer), today’s new normal is a seismic shift. Overall, upstream traffic has spiked 300 percent, video calls on Zoom have grown an inconceivable 30X, and collaboration tool usage on one carrier’s network has grown by approximately 1,200 percent.
Whether this shift arrived today or a couple years from now, forward-looking inventors like those walking our halls have pursued a final and long-term remedy: new spectrum in the 6 GHz band with Wi-Fi 6E. Wi-Fi 6E will have a lasting impact on smartphones, enterprise networks, and more with surging speeds, diminishing latency, and massive capacity to handle seemingly endless congestion — but can it help guarantee mission critical connectivity right away at home?
Yes, it sure can.
In simple terms, mesh Wi-Fi systems use one set of dedicated radios to connect your devices (industry lingo: fronthaul), and a separate radio to connect the nodes to each other (backhaul). Until now, fronthaul and backhaul traffic always operated in the same spectrum — the 5 GHz band. While still better than a traditional router, performance is nevertheless constrained by congestion. Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 changes this model by adding support for the 6 GHz band. In this model, backhaul is migrated out of 5 GHz, allowing your current devices using 5 GHz the possibility to reach their highest performance unfettered by backhaul congestion while upgrading that backhaul with much faster and more stable Wi-Fi 6E connectivity.
Qualcomm Technologies recently announced second generation Qualcomm Networking Pro Series Platforms supporting Qualcomm Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 across every tier, with commercial products expected this year. So, whether you are developing products or exploring the must-have features in your next home network to address a newfound mission-critical demand, know that Tri-Band Wi-Fi 6 is on the way and is ready to meet the moment.