AIRGAIN OFFERS 6 GHZ ANTENNA

Airgain has designed a new mobile antenna for the 6 Ghz (5.9-7.125 GHz) ISM band spectrum. Airgain is hoping to sell their antennas to OEM hardware vendors ahead of the FCC opening the new 6 GHz band.

In October 2018, the FCC voted to allocate up to 1.2 GHz of mid-band 6 GHz Wi-Fi spectrum for next generation Wi-Fi systems. It is possible the FCC may allow the band to be used as early as 2H19.

The existing 5 GHz only offers 2 fat 160 channels for wave 2 802.11ac use so the addition of 7 more channels in the new 6 GHz band will improve the situation in dense urban market areas.

The 6 GHz spectrum will be supported only with 802.11ax and above. Wi-Fi system designers including carriers and OEMs are deep into device design refresh cycles based on wave 1 802.11ax; however, since 6GHz is not ready they have to decide to wait and risk being late to market, or to proceed without 6GHz and face another design refresh cycle later with a second wave.

802.11ax has added 6 GHz to the standard early on so chip vendors are already set for support as they finish the design cycle. 802.11ax hardware should be more widely available in 2020 once manufacturing ramps up. n6 GHz offers more bandwidth than 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz combined.

Many articles suggest using the 2.4 GHz band. This is unwise as the heavy saturation with excessive channel sizes means no meaningful bandwidth is available.

2.4 Ghz is a 11 MHz narrow band for 802.11b and 802.11g. This is why 5 Ghz with dozens of 20 Mhz channels and now 6 GHz hundreds of channels with more wide band channels are much more suitable for 802.11n and above.

802.11BE

The next Wi-Fi standard, IEEE 802.11be, is set to establish 320 MHz channel operation in the 6 GHz band using up to 16×16 MIMO configuration on infrastructure devices. This can increase speed to over 40 Gbps. Access points must adopt intelligent and cost-efficient architectures, such as adaptive MIMO to achieve it.

  • 320 MHz bandwidth and more efficient utilization of non-contiguous spectrum,
  • Multi-band/multi-channel aggregation and operation,
  • 16 spatial streams and Multiple Input Multiple Output (MIMO) protocols enhancements,
  • Multi-Access Point (AP) Coordination (e.g. coordinated and joint transmission),
  • Enhanced link adaptation and retransmission protocol (e.g. Hybrid Automatic Repeat Request (HARQ)),
  • If needed, adaptation to regulatory rules specific to 6 GHz spectrum.

Ideally access point hardware should free up 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz by pushing clients into the available 6 Ghz band where there is abundant bandwidth. This would make things easier for obsolete 802.11n and 802.11ac hardware which is widely misconfigured.